Facebook, Instagram Back Online; Company Blames ‘Server Configuration Change’ for Outage

Image of a Facebook logo taken on a mobile phone. (Photo: Loic Venance, AFP/Getty Images)
Image of a Facebook logo taken on a mobile phone. (Photo: Loic Venance, AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook blamed a massive outage that stretched into Thursday morning on a server configuration change.

The world’s largest social network said it has resolved the issue, which affected millions of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users starting Wednesday.

“We made a server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues. As a result, many people had difficulty accessing our apps and services,” the social media giant said in a statement. “Our systems have been recovering over the last few hours.”

Server configuration describes how the parameters of a computer system or program are set up. These, in turn, can govern how traffic is routed and what happens to it within the system.

For a network as large as Facebook, resetting configurations is a delicate operation. One misplaced instruction can sometimes result in a cascade of problems, with one portion of the network being told to do something incorrectly.

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SOURCE: Jessica Guynn and Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY