The three social media giants, owned and operated by Facebook Inc., based in Menlo Park, Calif., Were decommissioned at 11:39 a.m. ET.
Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer at Facebook, had to take to Twitter to present his “sincere apologies to all of those currently affected by the outages in services powered by Facebook.”
“We are having network issues and the teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as quickly as possible,” Schroepfer tweeted just before 4 p.m. ET, more than four hours after the outage began.
Whatsapp tweeted: “We are working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience!”
And Instagram took to Twitter and posted the hashtag #instagramdown with the message: “Instagram and their friends are having a bit of a hard time right now, and you might be having trouble using them.” Be indulgent with us, we are there!
A Facebook employee said it was apparently a problem with the domain name system, the Internet’s “phone book” that computers use to search for individual websites.
“I wish I had known. No internal tooling, DNS seems totally screwed up. Everyone is kind of on their feet,” the source told NBC News. “No reason at this point to suspect anything malicious, but the outage affects just about everything. I can’t even access third-party tools.”
And a WhatsApp employee told NBC News that no internal departments at company headquarters were functioning except for emails and calendars.
Even the conference rooms were inaccessible during the outage, the employee said, as they are digitally locked and unlocked via an internet-connected tablet.
“Facebook, time and time again, has shown it prefers profit over security,” said the former Facebook data scientist. Frances Haugen said CBS’s “60 minutes” in an episode that airs Sunday night.
A Facebook spokesperson, responding to the “60 Minutes” report, stated that the company made “Significant improvements to combat the spread of disinformation and harmful content”.
Including Facebook’s CTO, Monday’s blackout drove many social media users to Twitter. The platform responded to the influx by rolling out the digital welcome mat, simply saying, “Hello literally everyone.”
This is a developing story, please update here for updates.
Ezra Kaplan, Rima Abdelkader and Caitlin Fichtel contributed.