Facebook has blamed a record seven-hour outage on a “faulty configuration change” on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic.

This was made known by the Vice President Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, in a statement quoted by the AFP.

The statement reads: “To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms.

“We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running. The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

“People and businesses around the world rely on us every day to stay connected. We understand the impact outages like these have on people’s lives, and our responsibility to keep people informed about disruptions to our services. We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient.”

All of Facebook’s services, including WhatsApp and Instagram, were down for users globally beginning Monday night. The outage affected Facebook’s internal systems as well and slowed down efforts to bring up systems back again.

SaharaReporters observed that the sites were restored around 10.45pm after about six hours of the crash, cutting off billions of users around the world.

The online services all share infrastructure and are owned by Facebook, which is owned by American billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the crash started around 16:41BST, according to the website Downdetector. While just two problems were reported at 16:26, the site says, this had jumped to more than 27,000 just fifteen minutes later.

According to The National, users attempting to access Facebook on their browser were shown a blank error page, while those using WhatsApp or Instagram mobile apps were able to view existing content, but nothing new has loaded.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing the Facebook app. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Facebook had said via @facebookapp

Posting on Twitter, which has not seen any issues, the Facebook app had said it was aware of outages affecting "some people.”

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