A global downtime of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp which took place for a few hours yesterday, 4th of October, 2021, between the hours of 12:00 noon and 4 PM, Central Standard Time, did not go unnoticed by the world. As soon as the technological glitch was fixed yesterday afternoon, an onslaught of jokes and memes about the phenomenon gushed across timelines.
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all owned by the same company, and while the temporary outage might have been a mild to moderate inconvenience and a source of laughter for most users, it cost the owner, Mark Zuckerberg, a fortune! Zuckerberg’s worth fell yesterday from 127 billion US dollars to 120 billion US dollars, costing him his spot in the ranks of richest people on earth according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The exact cause of the service interruption is not clear at this time, but according to internet security experts interviewed by CNN, the problem might have been a result of a DNS failure. DNS, which stands for “Domain Name Servers,” is a technology which translates domain names, example facebook.com, into a readable pattern of 1s and 0s which can be crunched by the computer’s binary system.
Companies sometimes lose connectivity when they update their network settings, but for a company as big as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, it should not have a happened, and the hours-long delay in correcting the error illustrates the need for more rigorous and redundant backup and security technology – an issue that should be tackled immediately and at all costs so as to avoid such a costly reoccurrence.
The last time Facebook went down for a significant amount of time was the 3rd of July, 2019 – for about 10 hours before being restored around midnight.