A Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus outage knocked every corner of Mark Zuckerberg’s empire offline on Monday. It’s a social media blackout that can most charitably be described as “thorough” and seems likely to prove particularly tough to fix.
Facebook itself has not confirmed the root cause of its woes, but clues abound on the internet. The company’s family of apps effectively fell off the face of the internet at 11:40 am ET, according to when its Domain Name System records became unreachable. DNS is often referred to as the internet’s phone book; it’s what translates the host names you type into a URL tab—like facebook.com—into IP addresses, which is where those sites live.
DNS mishaps are common enough, and when in doubt, they’re the reason why a given site has gone down. They can happen for all kinds of wonky technical reasons, often related to configuration issues, and can be relatively straightforward to resolve. In this case, though, something more serious appears to be afoot.
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