In this photo illustration the Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp icon is seen displayed on a smartphone screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lost more than $6 billion as a result of six hours of downtime of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Monday, October 4, 2021.
The loss has brought Mr Zuckerberg’s wealth to $117 billion in total making him the world’s sixth-richest person.
What was the likely cause?
Facebook together with Instagram, Messenger, Oculus and WhatsApp, all owned by Facebook experienced a downtime making it inaccessible across the world for hours on Monday.
Technology Experts believe the outage was caused by Facebook withdrawing authoritative Domain Name System (DNS) routes that let the rest of the Internet communicate with its properties.
These routes are part of the Internet’s DNS, a central component of the internet that directs its traffic. Without Facebook broadcasting its routes on the public Internet, apps and web addresses simply could not locate it.
Jake Williams, a Chief Technical Officer of cybersecurity firm BreachQuest, said that even though foul play cannot be completely ruled out, the outage could also be caused by “an operational issue” caused by human error.
The company apologized for the outage. “We’re sorry,” it said on Twitter after its apps started becoming accessible again. “Thank you for bearing with us.”
When the outage began on Monday morning, Facebook and Instagram users quickly turned to Twitter to lament and poke fun at their inability to use the apps. The hashtag #facebookdown also started trending.
This comes at the back of the technology giant battling its worst reputation crises due to revelations by a whistleblower, a former employee of the company.
Frances Haugen, a former engineer with Facebook leaked numerous internal documents of the company and accused the company of choosing profit over the safety of users.
By Quame Zane