Home » Big problems for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram – Meta confirms trouble

Big problems for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram – Meta confirms trouble

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Big problems for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram – Meta confirms trouble

At 18.07 Meta reports that things are starting to recover.

Meta is the company behind, among other things, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

– A technical problem gave people problems in accessing some of our services. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone affected, and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, writes communications manager Andy Stone in Meta on X.

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On the status page for Goals business solutions, they wrote earlier on Tuesday that there are problems with logging in to Facebook – and a number of other services.

– We are aware of a problem affecting Facebook login. Our developers are actively working to solve the problem as quickly as possible, it says.

– I think there are many who are panicking now

Psychologist Peder Kjøs tells VG that he understands that many are unsure of what has happened.

– I think there are many who are panicking now, yes. I thought about it myself too, that now there is something wrong with my password. Then you wonder if you have done something wrong yourself, or if someone has come in and taken over the account.

– Of course it’s uncomfortable, it’s a horror. The first thing you do is look for information.

He emphasizes that the panic is understandable and that most people are relieved when they find out that the problem affects many people, that they are not alone in not being able to access their accounts.

Peder Kjøs

Psychologist

Facebook, Messenger and Instagram have become critical infrastructure, emphasizes Kjøs:

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– It is neither wrong nor strange that you panic if you depend on the channels to communicate, but if you panic because you don’t get to watch videos of people eating live squid, then it is worse. But it shows how dependent we have become.

– Can mean anything

Kai Roer, general manager of Praxis Security Labs, tells VG that he believes there are several possible reasons why Meta is now having major problems.

Kai Roer

Managing Director of Praxis Security Labs

– What I find fascinating is that this could mean anything from someone making a mistake internally that just crashed the whole system, to this being a massive cyber attack where someone has decided to stop Facebook, Instagram and Messenger for a few hours , he says to VG.

Roer is surprised that social media has been down for so long.

– A service like Facebook will normally be built in an extremely resilient way, so normally I would think that no more than a few minutes should pass when an error has occurred. This has lasted for close to an hour, which suggests that this could be much rougher than that.

This is what it looks like on the Norwegian version of Downdetector at 16.30. Photo: Downdetector.no

Roer says that the technology that Meta uses is built up with backup solutions that usually kick in within a few milliseconds.

– A weakness with this type of backup solution is that they are programmatic. This means that instead of a technician having to flip a switch to make something work, someone is sitting somewhere in the world making a change to a code. That code is then sent out to all these network systems, but if there is an error in that code, you run the risk of things crashing, because the error is spread to all the centers at the same time. Everything crashes at the same time.

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– Must protect our personal data

Section manager for the international section of the Data Protection Authority, Tobias Judin, tells VG that there may be several aspects of downtime that are affected by their regulations.

– This could fall under privacy protection or it could be due to a technical error, says Tobias Judin.

Tobias Juden

Head of section in the Norwegian Data Protection Authority

He says that in a troubled world that we have now, it is important that Meta has good security.

– But we do not know if the downtime is due to a security breach.

Meta is subject to rules and laws for all personal data they hold and store.

– They are required to protect personal data from falling into the hands of unauthorized persons and they must protect our data from being manipulated or tampered with, says Judin.

The legislation requires that personal data be accessible.

– Meta and other such companies have an obligation to create security measures to prevent security breaches from occurring, he says.

Meta has its head office in Ireland and must report to the Irish Data Protection Authority if the downtime has led to a breach of the regulations.

Torgeir Waterhouse

IT expert

– Made us dependent

IT expert Torgeir Waterhouse from the consulting company Otte talks to VG from a technology conference taking place in Oslo.

– Everyone looked up with a what-is-happening look, he says.

Waterhouse says that the last time Meta was down, the cause was a technical error that led to several subsequent errors.

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He finds it interesting that “the whole world” almost stops and people ask themselves “what do we do now”?

– The downtime highlights how important such services are for organizing public services and private life. We have become dependent on the services to organize society, he says.

He says that many people are used to everything always being switched on.

– There are societal structures that we expect to work. Those of us who are well into adulthood can remember times when it wasn’t like this.

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