Facebook blames server configuration change for outage

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Users cited snags not only with Facebook, but also its photo-sharing site Instagram, the messaging tools Messenger and WhatsApp and Oculus virtual reality devices.

The company, in a brusque tweet, said: "Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services".

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and two state agencies in NY.

For brands that rely heavily on the platforms rather than owned websites and email marketing lists, outages can be costly. "We are 100 percent back up and running and apologize for any inconvenience", a Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook has an estimated 2.7 billion users of its various platforms, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

Such an attack causing such a widespread outage would have shown up on a number of security and networking companies' radar.

Well, the company pointed to a change it had made to its system for the outage.

A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook, according to the Times.

Regulators, investigators and elected officials in the USA and elsewhere in the world have already been digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook, which has more than two billion users.

Now the question turns to whether Facebook should reimburse businesses for ads not delivered, or delivered on a semi-functional platform - as reported by Reuters, Facebook is considering whether to refund advertisers for lost exposure due to the problems, though that seems an unlikely outcome. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we will continue to do so".

While Facebook has restored majority of services, there are users around the world that are still experiencing problems.