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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.

Go deeper

41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
46 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Trump sets auction for Arctic refuge drilling rights before Biden takes office

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Interior Department on Thursday said it will auction oil drilling leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early January.

Why it matters: The procedural step would make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to thwart drilling in the region, even though any actual development is years away.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney elected chair of House Democrats' campaign arm

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Thursday was elected chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2022 cycle, narrowly defeating Rep. Tony Cardenás (D-Calif.) 119 to 107, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Maloney will be tasked with protecting House Democrats' slim majority in 2022 after they underperformed in November's election, losing seats in down-ballot races across the country.