Cape Town - Facebook has denied that the social network was hacked after it was briefly inaccessible on Tuesday.
"Earlier this morning [Tuesday] many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems," Jumanah Anter, Facebook Corporate Communications lead for CEEMEA told Fin24.
Users had trouble accessing the site as well as Instagram and Tinder from around 08:20 and many took to Twitter to express their shock.
A Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group "Lizard Squad" posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major websites.
That view was also echoed by some news outlets that retweeted the claim.
Beyond hackers, some countries including Vietnam, North Korea, Iran and China regularly block access to social networks over what those governments deem to be harmful content.
While Facebook was thin on the detailed reasons for the outage, the company on Sunday rolled out a "Lite" version for emerging markets like SA.
This version, Facebook Lite - which also quietly launched in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe - aims to cater to users of less powerful smartphones on 2G networks.
This is not the first time the social networks has suffered as outage. However, the company has a history of fast recovery from an unexpected problem.
Despite the global outage, the network was soon back to normal.
"We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone," Anter said.
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