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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

15 March 2019

Facebook says its lengthy outages over the past day were the result of a "server configuration change".

Facebook's stock fell almost 3% in early morning trading on Thursday as Wall Street reacted to the outage.

"We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience", Facebook said.

On Wednesday, Facebook denied the outage was due to a cyber attack, though some have questioned if it wasn't an outage caused by a hacker. Reuters was not immediately able to verify those claims and the company declined to comment beyond the statement on resumption of services. This is an important draw for people concerned with their privacy online, particularly in light of the fact that Facebook, reportedly now under criminal investigation for secret data sharing deals.

Users reported problems Wednesday with posting and updating their social media accounts.

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Facebook has recently provided an explanation regarding yesterday's super-obnoxious social media outage. The outage prompted exasperation from business owners and individuals who rely on Facebook's platforms to communicate, and inspired a flood of derision on Twitter, where some users migrated to stay connected.

About 24 hours after users began reporting problems with Facebook, Instagram and other apps, Facebook announced Thursday - on Twitter - that it had resolved the issues and that its systems are "recovering".

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that USA federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Inc and Apple Inc. The federal investigation is the latest bad news coming from the company's data privacy scandals.

No cause has been given but Facebook said it wasn't a distributed denial of service or cyberattack.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?