Facebook blames ‘server configuration’ change for outage

Social media leviathan reveals exec shakeup

Credit: Dreamstime

Facebook says that a major outage across its family of social networking services was the result of internal problems at the company rather than a BGP route leak at a network operator.

“Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services,” the company said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Facebook was yesterday forced to use the rival social network to update its users after the problem prevented people using the company’s main service as well as Instagram and WhatsApp.

“We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering,” Facebook said. “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

The company yesterday denied that a DDoS attack had taken down its services.

Network performance management company NETSCOUT withdrew a statement that attributed to one of its engineers that reportedly attributed the outage to “an accidental BGP routing leak from a European ISP to a major transit ISP”.

Exec departures

Overnight Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the departure of two senior executives: Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer, and Chris Daniels, who led the company’s WhatsApp business.

“For a few years, Chris [Cox] has been discussing with me his desire to do something else,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“He is one of the most talented people I know and he has the potential to do anything he wants. But after 2016, we both realized we had too much important work to do to improve our products for society, and he stayed to help us work through these issues and help us chart a course for our family of apps going forward.”

“Chris [Daniels] has also done great work in many roles, including running our business development team, leading Internet.org, which has helped more than 100 million people get access to the internet, and most recently at WhatsApp, where he has helped define the business model for our messaging services going forward,” Zuckerberg wrote in his post.

Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp. Zuckerberg revealed that Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app

“Since we have now decided on the basic direction of our family of apps for the next few years, I do not plan on immediately appointing anyone to fill Chris’s role in the near term,” the CEO wrote.

“Instead, the leaders of Facebook (Fidji Simo), Instagram (Adam Mosseri), Messenger (Stan Chudnovsky), and WhatsApp (Will Cathcart) will report directly to me, and our Chief Marketing Officer (Antonio Lucio) will report directly to Sheryl.”

Last week Zuckerberg outlined a major reorientation for the social networking giant. In a lengthy post, Zuckerberg said he increasingly expected people to shift away from “open platform” services towards more intimate private messaging apps.

Reflecting that shift, the chief executive said that although Facebook intended to keep Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp as separate apps it would work to provide interoperability for their messaging capabilities, and extend that interoperability to SMS messages.

Earlier this year the New York Times reported the company would unify the technical infrastructure of the services.

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