Facebook blames maintenance error for outage

Facebook said Tuesday that there was no malicious activity behind a faulty configuration change that prevented its 3.5 billion global users from accessing its apps the day before…

It described the blackout - that also impacted Instagram, What's App, and Messenger - as part of routine maintenance to the company's network....that went wrong.

In a blog post updated on Tuesday, Facebook explained its engineers issued a command that unintentionally took down all the connections in its network, "effectively disconnecting Facebook data centers globally." It also caused employees to lose access to internal tools, including those used by Facebook employees to correct such issues.

Tech exec Matthew Hodgson of Element - a messaging app which competes for eyeballs with Facebook - says the outage serves as a reminder of what happens when too much power lies in the hands of one big company.

"The way to mitigate this is clearly not to go and concentrate something as fundamental as communication in the hands of a single company. Instead you should decentralize, you should have multiple instances spread across the world, you should democratize that communication just like the internet used to be. Like lots of different ISPs (internet service providers), lots of different websites, lot of different email servers, and you spread the risk, then, over the entire globe rather than putting it in the hands of a single company."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology on Monday via the company's Facebook page.

The outage came at a time when Zuckerberg and his company were already under intense scrutiny. A former company insider who provided jaw-dropping research to the Wall Street Journal testified on Capital Hill Tuesday as a whistleblower - telling lawmakers Facebook cares more about profits than it does about its platform being used to stoke divisions and harm to teenage girls.

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