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After a total failure: Facebook services are online again

The hour of Twitter struck just for the exchange of information about the failure – and the Facebook competitor was aware of this. “Hello everyone, literally,” tweeted the account of the short message service, on which countless Facebook users romped for hours to get information.

For Facebook, which is currently under increased political pressure in the USA, the failure of several hours was, as it were, an embarrassing coronation of already bad weeks. It was only on Sunday that a former employee identified herself as a whistleblower and accused the online network of putting profit above the well-being of the user. She should be questioned in the US Senate on Tuesday.

Twitter on Monday was accordingly full of jokes about how the disappearance of Facebook had made everything better in one fell swoop, including world peace. “Hopefully Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will never work again,” tweeted satirist Jan Böhmermann. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden took the opportunity to recommend the Signal chat app as an alternative that offers more privacy.

On the malfunction platforms, users sometimes reported problems with other online services, which were initially not confirmed on a large scale. Faults that can be traced back to network errors occur time and again on the web. In July, for example, one of them ensured that numerous websites were temporarily inaccessible. The centralization of the network infrastructure at large providers also ensures that the failure of a company can tear down as many services and websites from the network.

At the beginning of June, numerous websites around the world were unavailable for around an hour after a malfunction in one of the cloud services. At that time, the British government, the Reddit platform and the news portals of the Guardian, the New York Times, the Financial Times and the French newspaper Le Monde were affected.

There was a widespread failure at Facebook in spring 2019, which, according to the company, was due to an error in the server configuration. However, Monday’s disruption was exceptional in its magnitude and duration.

A long-term question is whether the outage will cause Facebook advertisers to consider alternatives. Because for many small companies around the world in particular, Facebook is the most important advertising channel. For them, the disruption meant lost business.

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