+ A

Mystery over Facebook, Google outages

No explanation for glitches that affected millions globally
Mar 15,2019
Only a day after Google suffered a service disruption, Facebook and its photo-sharing subsidiary, Instagram, suffered partial service outages Thursday morning, affecting users across the world.

Instagram recovered almost half a day later, but Facebook did not confirm full recovery as of press time Thursday evening.

Malfunctions included users’ inability to put up posts or send messages. The type of device also seemed to matter as some users were able to access Facebook and Instagram on their computers but not on their smartphones, or vice versa.

Facebook and Instagram have yet to make official announcements as to the reasons for the latest malfunctions, but ruled out a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack. Facebook owns Instagram.

“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,” Facebook wrote in a tweet Thursday morning, adding, “We’re focused on working to resolve this issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”

A spokesperson for Facebook Korea said, “Considering that users are experiencing different kinds of malfunctions, the recent outage doesn’t seem to be rooted in a single problem.”

The disruptions caused not only inconvenience to general users but also losses to businesses who use social media platforms.

“Facebook and Instagram are two of the most important platforms when it comes to digital marketing,” said Yu Jin-sil, a digital marketing specialist. “The majority of our business involves running advertisements for clients and we rely on Facebook and Instagram a lot.

“The global issue with Facebook and Instagram means our clients cannot promote their products and attract customers [during the hours the platforms went down], both in Korea and overseas.”

There are over 2.3 billion Facebook users across the world. Korean users account for 18 million. Instagram has a total of one billion accounts with more than 10 million in Korea.

WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned platform, also received complaints of disruptions in sending voice messages, videos and stickers.

The recent outages of major online platforms are raising cybersecurity worries around the world. Google went down on Wednesday, affecting its Gmail and Google Drive services. The outage lasted about four hours. During those hours, Google users weren’t able to send emails and received error messages.


BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]