Updated Mar 14, 2019 - Technology

Facebook outage blamed on a change made to its server settings

A distorted Facebook logo

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

An outage that kept many people from accessing Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday was caused by a configuration issue, the company said on Thursday.

Why it matters: The outage, said to be Facebook's longest ever, was not an outside attack.

In a tweet on Thursday, Facebook blamed the outage on "a server configuration change."

  • "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."

On Wednesday, network management firm Netscout blamed the issue on a separate cause — a type of routing issue known as a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) leak. However, other firms said they didn’t think a BGP problem was to blame, and Netscout later walked back its claim. 

  • “Absent more forensic evidence, we can’t speculate about the cause of that specific outage,” said the company in an email.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Facebook's statement and the fact that Netscout walked back its claim after other firms cast doubt on its analysis.

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