“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,” it said.
The chances are that this is some kind of technical failing, which will ultimately intrigue the technically literate and bemuse the rest.
Theories already abound that it could be somethingcalled a border gateway protocol routing leak, where global web traffic is mistakenly routed in the wrong direction, or maybe it could be a failure of automated systems used to check and maintain different parts of the network.
It could also turn out to be something much more sinister of course, because it doesn’t take the most loopy conspiracy theorist to look at thebig outage at Google, which brought down its messaging and cloud storage services just a day earlier, and assume that malevolent cyber forces are at work.
Facebook seemed keen to steer clear of that line of thinking when we contacted them, but it is fair to assume that its specialist staff were more preoccupied with getting its services working again, than establishing any source of hostile action.
A far neater conspiracy theory to fit with the mood of the times, is that Facebook and Google got together and looked at the growing calls around the world to break them up on competition grounds and said … “We’ll show ’em … lets see how they go for a few hours without us.”
Australia’s competition watchdog hastalked about tackling the growing powerof hugely diverse, but centrally owned platforms, whereas UK chancellor Philip Hammond last night spoke about potential new antitrust laws for the tech industry.
US presidential hopefulElizabeth Warren has also of course said that Google, Facebook and Amazonshould be broken up to reduce their ability to distort markets … it is probably Amazon’s turn to go down tomorrow.
But what does a day without these platforms really show us? It shows us that life ultimately carries on fine for most of us without them. The Google outages were far more inconvenient for businesses than Facebook’s travails on Thursday, but usually there are plenty of other options online or offline for whatever you wanted to do, when we are forced to look for them.
The sight of some Instagram “influencer” wannabees forlornly heading to Twitter today in a bid to show off the freebies they were supposed to be hawking to their Insta herds summed up the mood of the day for me.
So to Google and particularly Facebook … thanks for the break guys … take your time, sort out your systems, and I guess we’ll catch up when you’ve fixed yourselves up.