Services are no longer available after an apparent technical error. This is very inconvenient for the group.
Helmut Martin Jung
In the end, even the internal communications in the Facebook group didn’t work out. And the SMS service Twitter mocked its own account, saying: “We welcome literally everyone.” What happened? Experts were baffled by this, but only one thing was clear: Facebook and two of its other services, Whatsapp and Instagram, were Not available worldwide. After about six hours, it appears the group has managed to get the problem under control. Just before midnight, Swiss time, more and more users reported that the services of the largest Internet network in the world were again working for them.
What exactly is behind the massive failure is unclear. However, the Facebook group is not assuming any attack, the group’s employees told the New York Times. Internet experts see a possible cause in the so-called Domain Name System (DNS). A worldwide network of private server computers ensures that you are directed to the correct page when entering an address such as sbb.ch or facebook.com.
Because servers actually have names made up of long strings of numbers, IP addresses, which are hard to remember. As some experts have reported, DNS entries for Facebook services have disappeared from this service, which controls data traffic, and thus become almost invisible to the network infrastructure.
DNS crashes are not uncommon. It wasn’t until July that many websites were temporarily unavailable due to this flaw. The operator at that time had problems with the web service provider Akamai, whose distributed infrastructure, for example, ensured that video streams reached users smoothly. Since some large service providers provide such services centrally, a failure can banish many other services and sites and make them inaccessible. At the beginning of June, many websites around the world were unavailable for about an hour after a failure with the Fastly cloud service.
DNS failure may be caused by an incorrect BGP configuration. It connects individual networks, so-called autonomous systems, to what is known as the Internet. Service provider Cloudflare, which, among other things, blocks attacks from the network, reported a number of BGP updates shortly before the failure.
Failure comes at the wrong time
Whatever the reason for failure – it certainly comes at an inopportune time for the company. A whistleblower initially criticized the Facebook group anonymously, then with full credit. A former employee has accused billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s company of not doing enough against hate speech and misinformation circulating on the company’s platforms.. When in doubt, Facebook has always chosen to make a profit instead of deleting the controversial content. The company lies when it comes to the company’s progress in combating hate speech and disinformation on its platform, even if no one at the company has acted maliciously.
And this is the last time Facebook has fallen into a series of hits. At least since the allegations regarding the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which have also been manipulated by Russia via social networks, criticism has increased. Then there was the scandal surrounding British firm Cambridge Analytica, which misused data that had already been released for research purposes. Co-founder and president Mark Zuckerberg has had to report to Washington several times, and his company’s reputation is bad. Several advertisers announced their withdrawal. In general, bad publicity did not harm Facebook financially, profits continued to flow. It doesn’t have to stay that way forever.