Facebook Is Blaming a Server Configuration Change for Its Lengthy Outage

The social network said it was not the victim of a distributed denial-of-service attack

People worldwide have become quite familiar with this message Wednesday Facebook
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Nearly 24 hours after the first reports of massive outages for Facebook and its family of applications, the social network finally gave the all-clear and provided an explanation for the issues.

The company said in a tweet, “Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Facebook began experiencing issues just before noon ET Wednesday that has brought the social network and its family of apps to a virtual halt for nearly 24 hours, in some cases.

There was initial speculation about a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, but that does not appear to have been the case.

A Facebook spokesperson said late Wednesday afternoon, “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”

Facebook’s dashboard for developers was still reporting a “partial outage” as of late Wednesday night, saying, “We are currently experiencing issues that may cause some API (application-programming interface) requests to take longer or fail unexpectedly. We are investigating the issue and working on a resolution.”

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on whether advertisers would be compensated for the extended downtime.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.