Facebook went down for six hours on Monday, taking Instagram and WhatsApp along with it. Billions of people were locked out of their social media accounts, leaving them no way to complain about politics or show off their lunches. It was a dark day. But at least we got a lot of great memes out of it. Melissa Gilbert, from Little House on the Prairie, had one of the best of the day.
The former child star and cookbook author posted a photo to Instagram that showed what life was like on October 4, the day most of social media stood still.
A lot of people acted like life without the world’s biggest social media platform was primitive. Though, we still had Twitter, which is where everyone on the planet went to complain about Facebook. At least it seemed that way. Even Twitter’s official account made jokes about the outage.
But others saw their newfound downtime away from scrolling as a reprieve.
“I actually watched a ton of Little House on The Prairie today because I couldn’t scroll through Facebook,” someone wrote on Gilbert’s post.
“My 8-year-old son and I watched Little House yesterday afternoon,” another fan commented. “It was so great.”
“And wasn’t it wonderful??? Didn’t even know it was down until I saw a news feed,” another person replied.
Why Did Facebook Go Down for Six Hours on Monday?
The timing of Facebook’s collapse came a day after a former employee turned whistleblower went on 60 Minutes to discuss some of the company’s more —alleged — shady business practices. Did Facebook shut down to keep people from spreading this information as some have suggested? Probably not. It was because of a network issue.
Boring, I know, but that’s what Facebook said caused the outage, and experts confirmed it.
Facebook wrote a blog post explaining its worst outage since 2008.
“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
Put simply, Facebook servers were unable to communicate with its websites, killing all traffic to the site. The company said no one’s personal data was breached or at risk because of the outage.
Mark Zuckerberg apologized, but even his post was met with some pretty great jokes. Take a look here.
So, a day after Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down, what have we learned? Social media is great at jokes and less good at spreading actual information.