Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus are down. Here’s what we know [Updated]

Screenshot of one of Facebook's downward-facing thumb icons.

Enlarge / Today’s global Facebook and Facebook-owned-services outage appears to be the result of a flubbed BGP configuration change pushed by a Facebook engineer this morning. (credit: Sean Gladwell via Getty Images / Jim Salter)

noticed the problem at about 11:30 am Eastern time, when some Facebook links stopped working. Investigating a bit further showed major DNS failures at Facebook:

DNS—short for Domain Name System—is the service that translates human-readable hostnames (like arstechnica.com) to raw, numeric IP addresses (like 18.221.249.245). Without working DNS, your computer doesn’t know how to get to the servers that host the website you’re looking for.

The problem goes deeper than Facebook’s obvious DNS failures, though. Facebook-owned Instagram was also down, and its DNS services—which are hosted on Amazon rather than being internal to Facebook’s own network—were functional. Instagram and WhatsApp were reachable but showed HTTP 503 failures (no server is available for the request) instead, an indication that while DNS worked and the services’ load balancers were reachable, the application servers that should be feeding the load balancers were not.

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