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Facebook suffers third major global outage this year, apologises for 'inconvenience'

Apr 14 2019 17:30
Olivia Carville, Bloomberg

Facebook suffered its third major outage this year, with users across the world unable to access the social network or its suite of services such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

In late January, the Instagram app crashed, and WhatsApp users worldwide were also unable to send or receive messages.

Last month, Facebook faced its most widespread and persistent system outage, with users unable to access the social network for more than 12 hours.

The outages add to the woes of Facebook, already embattled by revelations it has failed to safeguard user data or stanch the spread of hate speech, fake news and other forms of disinformation.

In South Africa, the hashtags #whatsappdown, #instagramdown and #facebookdown were all trending in South Africa by early afternoon as well as globally.

In terms of Facebook and Instagram, the pages failed to load or refresh while on WhatsApp, messages were either delayed or not sent at all. 

In South Africa, the service was restored just after 16:00 on Sunday. 

Downdetector, a site that tracks website outages, reported problems with Facebook starting as early as 6:30 Sunday morning in New York. The issues affected users in Asia, Europe and the US, according to the site. 

The social media networks were back up and running in New York by 09.30, but irate users turned to Twitter to vent during the blackout.

“Ok... who broke #Facebook?” Dean Miller tweeted from New York.

“What is wrong with Facebook,” Kularakkhita asked in a tweet from Thailand.

“All Facebook services are down,” said Daniel Chernenkov in Israel.

Facebook has since issued a brief statement on the outage, apologising for the "inconvenience".

“Earlier today, some people may have experienced trouble connecting to the family of apps. The issue has since been resolved; we're sorry for any inconvenience,” a spokesperson said.

Facebook did not respond to a Fin24 query about what had prompted the outage.

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