Users worldwide report Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram outages
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Users worldwide report Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram outages

Company cites ‘required maintenance,’ says issue ‘not related to a DDoS attack’ by hackers

This file photo from February 19, 2014, shows WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on a smartphone in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)
This file photo from February 19, 2014, shows WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on a smartphone in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

Facebook on Wednesday said it was aware of widespread outages on its platforms, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, and was working to resolve the issue.

According to downdetector.com, which monitors social media complaints about access problems for websites, the outages started around 12 p.m. eastern time (6 p.m. in Israel) on Wednesday in parts of the US, especially in areas around the New England region, California, and the cities of Seattle and Chicago, and spread across the world to Peru, Brazil, Britain, Holland and parts of India, among others.

Both Facebook’s desktop site and app appeared to be affected. Some users saw a message, saying Facebook was down for “required maintenance.”

On the image-sharing site Instagram, one of the most popular social networks among Israelis, users were having trouble reading and posting, though the website seemed worse affected than mobile apps.

Facebook did not offer any details on what was causing the interruption of services, which were still occurring after 8 p.m. Israel time (2 p.m. eastern).

About an hour after users started complaining about the outages, Facebook posted a short statement on Twitter that read, “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

The company said the issue “is not related to a DDoS attack,” referring to a “distributed denial-of-service” attack by hackers that harnesses large numbers of computers to attempt to access a website or server all at once, tying up the site’s resources and effectively making it inaccessible to regular users.

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