Meta’s Facebook, Instagram and other platforms Hit by Major Global Outage

Meta Platforms Inc. Hit by Massive Service Outage

A Closer Look at the Social Media Giant’s Services, Including Facebook and InstagramFacebook down

 

By Alex Daniels, Tech Correspondent

March 5, 2024 – A massive service outage struck Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, impacting its suite of widely used social networking tools including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and virtual reality offerings around the world.

Frustrations Mount as Meta’s Network Goes Down

The outage, which began around 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 5th, paralyzed Meta’s network of services that are utilized by billions of users spanning over 100 countries.

Searching for Answers: Meta’s Response

As of 7 p.m. ET, some of Meta’s platforms had started to come back online for many users, though the company had yet to provide a clear explanation for the cause of the widespread and protracted disruption.

Meta’s Troubles Amid Controversies

The incident is the latest black eye for the internet and social media behemoth, which has spent the past couple of years mired in controversies over content moderation, privacy, and issues related to the potentially harmful psychological effects of its social media platforms.

 

Technical Analysis: What Went Wrong?

Analysis from internet monitoring websites like DownDetector indicated that user reports of problems spiked around 11:30 a.m. ET, with issues first appearing among Instagram users.

Speculation and Satire Surrounding the Outage

Former Facebook technical staff satirized the company’s struggles on social media during the outage. “Which team at FB is waking ops up to sort out a total global outage?” joked former Facebook programmer Naveed Pirak in a post on Telegram.

Rare Occurrence Raises Questions

Service issues of such a global scale and duration are relatively rare for internet companies of Meta’s stature.

Lingering Impact and Potential Fallout

Problems persisted well into the evening based on user reports, likely impacting more than just individual consumers with many businesses also relying on Meta’s tools for operations, marketing, communications, and commerce.

Looking Ahead: Regulatory Scrutiny?

The outage underscores enduring concerns over society’s reliance on a relatively small number of key internet firms operating critical digital infrastructure and communications utilities.

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