Facebook and Instagram Experience Global Outage, Users Unable to Login

Thousands of users had trouble accessing Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger on Tuesday morning due to a “technical issue” reported by Meta, the company behind these platforms. The disruption lasted for about two hours before being resolved.

Around mid-morning Eastern Time, as many as 500,000 Facebook users experienced problems logging in or accessing the site, according to Downdetector, which tracks outages. There were also around 50,000 reports of Instagram outages and 10,000 for Facebook Messenger. However, within an hour, the number of reports began to decline.

Some users discovered that they had been logged out of their Facebook accounts, while others received notifications on Instagram stating that their feeds couldn’t be loaded.

Threads, Meta’s competitor to Elon Musk’s X, also experienced issues, displaying a popup message saying, “Something went wrong, please try again later.”

Meta’s status page indicated “major disruptions,” particularly affecting Facebook login and other areas of the platform.

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone acknowledged the problem on X, stating, “We’re aware people are having trouble accessing our services. We are working on this now.”

About an hour and a half after the reports started, fewer than 80,000 people were still reporting issues with Facebook. Reports for Instagram and Messenger also decreased significantly. However, the actual number of affected users is likely higher than reported by Downdetector.

Meta announced that the issue had been resolved just after noon ET, with Stone stating, “Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

While major platform outages are rare, they can occur due to benign reasons such as software updates. In 2021, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp experienced a six-hour outage, which the company clarified was not due to malicious activity.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency stated that they were aware of the availability issues affecting Meta’s services but were not aware of any specific malicious cyber activity related to the Super Tuesday primary elections.

The recent outage serves as a reminder of the potential impact of service disruptions, following AT&T’s nearly 12-hour network outage last month, which affected many customers’ ability to make calls, send texts, or access the internet on their mobile devices.

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