December 11, 2012

Facebook Went Down Yesterday

Other sites and services may “go down” (or become inaccessible to its users) every so often. Apple’s iMessage and Siri, for instance, is good to go down once or twice a month.

Facebook, on the other hand, is normally situated on a solid granite foundation and almost never experiences any significant amount of downtime.

This is quite a feat. With 1 billion users sharing photos and videos and scoping out potential love interests, the strain on the servers and data centers must be hefty. It’s also in the interest of national safety that Facebook remain accessible through any situation, as angry Facebook users would likely take to the streets and riot if they were briefly unable to “like” a friend’s status about eating chocolate.

And yet, the whole of Facebook appears to have taken a brief sabbatical yesterday evening, sending many a’human to go into a state of muted panic as they overloaded the site with even further requests, testing which parts of the site worked and which parts didn’t.

The entire outage lasted less than half an hour, and a Facebook representative quickly acknowledged the problem, blaming the downtime on a DNS issue.

The entire statement follows: “Earlier today we made a change to our DNS infrastructure and that change resulted in some people being temporarily unable to reach the site. We detected and resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Depending on which news source is asked, this outage covered the entire span of Facebook or just portions of it.

According to Cnet, Facebook and Facebook Mobile were both taken out, as well as Facebook’s API, meaning the blue Thumbs Up icon was also unusable during the outage. They were able to access some of Facebook’s subdomains, such as beta.Facebook.com.

Meanwhile, Mashable had mixed success when attempting to hop onto Facebook. Three of their editors said they weren’t able to access any portion of the site, while 3 other editors claimed they worked fine, with the exception that all of the images were missing.

Mashable also mentioned beta.Facebook.com as a workaround for those who needed a quick fix.

This outage also happened just hours after another tech giant, Google, experienced their own little outage. Somewhere around Noon, (Eastern time) Gmail and some of Google’s cloud services took a brief siesta for 5 to 10 minutes.

Internet Users act in a peculiar way when sites like these take a brief nose dive. First, many begin asking questions about the site’s downtime on Twitter. (This is, of course, unless it is Twitter which is experiencing downtime. Facebook is an acceptable substitute in this case.)

Then Internet Users begin trying all sorts of different ways to access the site, further overloading the downed servers.

Although Facebook has already admitted what had happened and has since returned service, one Twitter user claimed to have found the problem and issued a fix immediately.

“Right. Sorry about this. Apparently Camilla unplugged Facebook to plug in an electric heater/cigarette lighter. Awkward,” writes the unofficial Queen of England, @Queen_UK.

Glad that’s sorted.

Image Credit: Photos.com

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email