Imagining a day without social media seemed like a crazy thought in the digital age — until today.
The social-sphere has been in a frenzy ever since Facebook, along with its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, went down for users on Monday. Even internal systems operated by employees were inoperable.
Facebook noted that it was fully aware that “some people are having trouble accessing (the) Facebook app,” AP News reports. The social media platform also announced that it was hard at work to restore access.
According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, the internal outages feel like a “snow day” per his Twitter account.
Users have flocked to Twitter to share both their frustrations and speculations as to why the social media giant has gone dark. AfroTech is here to help you understand just exactly what’s happening in the world of social media.
Why Is Facebook Down?
Think of social media as a road and your phone and/or laptop is the car used to access it.
When you’re using your phone or computer to use the Internet, one of the first things that you’ll do is open up your browser. The first thing you’ll come across is a homepage.
Let’s just use Google as an example.
Once you head to type in your URL, which in this case is www (dot) Facebook (dot) com, what your computer does is pulls up a digital roadmap to take you from point A (Google) to point B (Facebook).
What’s happening, in this case, is that the roadmap has been deleted, so think of it like this… what if the road you took to your home just vanished in thin air? That’s essentially what has happened and is the reason that no one is able to access the platforms connected to the social media giant at this time.
What It Means For Employees
Can you imagine showing up for work without access to anything?
It has been confirmed that the Domain Name System (DNS) records that tell those systems (remember the roadmaps) how to find the Facebook and Instagram servers were withdrawn from global routing tables. In other words, this isn’t a situation where Facebook’s servers are down — this is a situation where their entire existence is no more.
So, someone deleted large sections of the routing….that doesn’t mean Facebook is just down, from the looks of it….that means Facebook is GONE. pic.twitter.com/OCZWPD2okw
— The Academy (@BenjaminEnfield) October 4, 2021
“The Domain Name System is an integral element of how traffic on the internet is routed,” AP News reports. “DNS translates an address like “facebook.com” to an IP address like 22.214.171.1240. If Facebook’s DNS records have disappeared, no one could find it.”
At this time, not only are Facebook employees unable to access their email, but all internal Facebook-based tools are also non-existent. Reportedly, Facebook employees are also blocked from entering the campus, but this report remains unconfirmed by independent sources.
Everything has vanished in thin air.
Why Is This Happening?
There’s tons of speculation as to what actually led to the outage, but one report seems to trump all.
“Facebook is going through a separate major crisis after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, provided The Wall Street Journal with internal documents that exposed the company’s awareness of harms caused by its products and decisions,” per reports. “Haugen went public on “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
At this time, the only way to access the full interview is through a subscription to Paramount+.
What It Means For Mark Zuckerberg
Things aren’t looking good for Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth. According to Bloomberg, after Facebook and its flagship products went dark, the company’s stock fell 5%, causing the business mogul to lose nearly $6.6 billion of his personal wealth in just a few hours.
With a net worth of $120.9 billion, Zuckerberg is now the 5th richest man in the world, dropping him under Bill Gates. Since September 13, Zuckerberg has lost an estimated $19 billion.