18h41: Around 18h, Paris time, 24 hours after the first reports, Facebook stated that it had identified the technical problem and that the failure was reabsorbed.
"Yesterday, due to a change in the configuration of the servers, many people had problems accessing our applications and services. Now we have solved the problem and our systems are recovering. We are really sorry about the inconvenience and thanks for the your patience, "wrote Facebook on Twitter.
"We're back!", Tweeted the official account of Instagram, one of the platforms managed by the technology giant, on Twitter, Wednesday 21H41 now Californian (05H41 GMT).
According to the Downdetector website, all Facebook platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger) found difficulties around 17:00 GMT on Wednesday before they started to reabsorb very gradually about six hours later.
On the "Facebook for developers" page, dedicated to those who develop applications that interact with its services, the group mentioned a breakdown on Wednesday at 10:30 am California time (17:30 GMT).
At the same time, the social network had tweeted that it was "aware" of the fact that "some users" had "problems" and promised to solve them "as quickly as possible". The disruption has affected Facebook services in various ways around the world. At the inauguration of Wall Street, Thursday, the US giant's stock fell by 2.5% before recovering. By 1700 GMT, it produced 1.64%.
4:22 p.m.: Facebook started Thursday to re-establish its services after a long collapse, which aroused amused reactions, half of the family members saw the reactions of "real life" obviously transmitted … on the Internet, through other channels. "We're back!", Tweeted the official account of Instagram, one of the platforms managed by the technology giant, on the concurrent social network Twitter, 21H41 now Californian (05H41 GMT).
According to the Downdetector website, all Facebook platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger) have seen difficulties appear around 17:00 GMT before starting resorption about six hours later. On the "Facebook for developers" page, dedicated to those who develop applications that interact with its services, the group mentioned a failure reported at 10:30 am from California (17:30 GMT).
At the same time, the social network had tweeted that it was "aware" of the fact that "some users" had "problems" and promised to solve them "as quickly as possible", without saying where the failure was. Originally for the unknown time, the blackout hit Facebook services in various ways around the world. If the situation had returned to normal in the American continent, some areas in Europe and Asia still seemed worried.
On the opening of Wall Street, Thursday, the American giant's stock fell by almost 2.5% before slightly easing its losses later. Around 14H20 GMT, it yielded 1.94% at $ 170.00. The incident has driven many user reactions to "real life".
"You're presenting it as the end of the world when you don't have access to Facebook, you have a real life rather than a digital life," Johanna wrote on the Downdetector website. "I expect a + baby boom + in nine months! Remember that day that Facebook planted and forced people to become aware of those around them?", Commented another, Palmina D & # 39; Allesandro.
On Twitter, the #facebookdown or #instagramdown publications abounded, with a semi-rounded and half-ironic tone. "I put my phone. I went to get some fresh air and … sucks INSTA come back real life is bad", he tweeted one. "I'm completely lost, let someone explain how to interact with people in real life," said another lament.
The failure made people happy among the competitors of the social network: its competitor Twitter, but also the Russian encrypted Telegram messaging that would have gained three million users in the last 24 hours, according to its founder Pavel Durov. For the group founded by Mark Zuckerberg, this failure could be the largest so far known. It would not derive from a DDoS (Denial of Service) attack, which involves the flooding of a connection request service, which routes its platforms to 2.3 billion users.
The incident comes in an already difficult context for the Internet giant, which learned the opening of a criminal investigation, launched by prosecutors in New York, on its sharing of personal data with other technology groups, according to the New York Times. According to the newspaper, a grand jury in New York officially asked "at least two major smartphone manufacturers" to provide their information on this topic, which would affect hundreds of millions of users.
Facebook shares or has shared many personal data with external technology companies, including smartphone manufacturers, to make their services compatible with their operating systems, applications or sites. It does this through "partnerships" signed with these groups. Many of them are no longer active, according to Facebook. Contacted by AFP, Facebook said it was "known that federal investigations, including by the Ministry of Justice, were ongoing" and that it "always cooperates" with investigators.
The group has been the subject of constant criticism from the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal a year ago. Elected officials, regulators and investigators from around the world are examining whether Facebook has somehow hidden the details of its data-sharing practices.
7:37 am: Facebook had trouble during the night from Wednesday to Thursday with a serious failure, depriving everyone of many users around the world of access for about ten hours.
This failure, which could be the largest known to the group, was just one of the concerns of the social network. The New York Times reported Wednesday evening that it was conducting a criminal investigation, launched by prosecutors in New York, about sharing personal data with other technology groups.
On the "Facebook for developers" page, dedicated to those who develop applications that interact with its services, the group mentioned a failure reported at 10:30 am from California (17:30 GMT). At the same time, the social network had tweeted that it was "aware" of the fact that "some users" had "problems" and promised to solve them "as quickly as possible", without saying where the failure was.
Around 0500 GMT, users were still complaining about problems.
According to testimonies circulating on the Internet or collected directly by AFP, the difficulties were of a variable nature and importance, some users were unable to connect at all, others were unable to publish or comment on Facebook or Instagram. His other Messenger and WhatsApp services also encountered difficulties.
While Facebook has been subjected to criticism over various topics for more than two years (personal data, hate content, political manipulation, hacking …), many users were ironic on Twitter. One user stated that "everything that Facebook owns breaks".
Many did not hide their frustration and urged the social network, sometimes in vulgar language, to solve the problem as quickly as possible.
In a lighter tone, some were amused by their dependence on the social network, a user who said "to be bored at work" because of the fault, another who explains that he suddenly spent time with his family. Also ironic for the local newspaper of San Jose in Silicon Valley, the world cradle of technology: "Facebook is down, will the world survive?" The Mercury News asked. According to the downdetector.com website, the problems seemed to be concentrated in the United States or Japan, a part of Europe, South America or Australia seems to be interested.
"I've never seen a Facebook breakdown so long," one user said on downtector. A user on the west coast of the United States has told AFP that it is not able to send photos via Messenger, while many others, located on the east coast, have not been able to access the services, reading this message instead: "Facebook it is inaccessible for maintenance at the moment but you should be able to return in a few minutes ".
AFP has also collected testimonials from French users who have encountered connection difficulties. Facebook, which has 2.3 billion users, simply stated that the error does not derive from "a denial of service attack", which involves the flooding of a service that requires connections.
Furthermore, US users have reported problems on other sites and apps on Twitter, although it was not clear if the problems were related.
Wednesday, March 14th
8:24 p.m.: The United States would also be the first country affected by the blackout followed by North-West Europe. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England and France. Several countries follow in Latin America and South-East Asia. "We are aware of the difficulties encountered by some people in connecting to Facebook and its associated services (Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, ed.). At the moment we are working to solve the problem as quickly as possible," said Facebook spokesperson LCI.
8:18 p.m.: For the past 17 hours, Wednesday, Facebook's four top sites and applications are experiencing enormous failure.
Users experience connection problems and bugs, especially when they publish content, such as photos or comments, but also when they connect to the site or upload the news feed.
The social network itself, but also Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp are interested, at different scales and according to the regions. In Europe, the main interested users reside in the regions of Paris, London, Berlin, the Netherlands and Italy.
The Downdetector site lists thousands of reports of social network failures.
Facebook, in a tweet, reassured users: "We are aware that some people are currently struggling to access Facebook applications. We are working to solve the problem as soon as possible."
20:16: a global break is affecting Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in several countries, including France. Some people manage to connect but some specific features don't work like uploading photos, adding status, connecting to the site or updating pages.