Facebook and all of its services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, appear to have completely disappeared from the internet. And I don’t just mean that the services are down—their domains are for sale.
Update, 10/4/21 3:34 pm Eastern: New reports indicate that Facebook employees cannot enter their offices, as their keycards rely on Facebook servers. Also, GoDaddy has clarified to Mac Observer that it is not selling the Facebook domain. A third-party that doesn’t own Facebook attempted to list the domain, probably as a joke, and it slipped through GoDaddy’s approval process.
You probably noticed that Facebook and its services were inaccessible this morning. Well, after a couple hours of radio silence, users discovered that the company’s domains have simply disappeared. Evidence shows that these domains were pulled from global routing tables—an odd situation, given that Facebook owns its own registrar.
In other words, someone within Facebook pulled its websites and services from the global internet. Hackers may be responsible, but given what we know, it like someone working for Facebook decided to pull the plug. Either that, or a critical hardware failure brought everything offline. It’s pretty bad timing, considering Facebook is already dealing with having its dirty laundry aired by a whistleblower.
— John Graham-Cumming (@jgrahamc) October 4, 2021
Someone nuked the DNS A and AAA records for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp 🤭 pic.twitter.com/8TaU2eR1mm
— Chad Loder (@chadloder) October 4, 2021
Those who try to visit Facebook, Instagram, and the company’s other websites will encounter an NXDOMAIN error indicating that their domains do not exist. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, WhatsApp and other Facebook services are synonymous with texting (or the internet as a whole) in some countries—such a long outage could cut people off from their families or put businesses on hold.
We’re not sure what’s behind this outage, though it comes at a strange time. Yesterday, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen sat with 60 Minutes to discuss internal documents that she submitted to federal investigators after years with the company. These documents show that Facebook intentionally stokes anger and misinformation on its platform despite evidence that doing so contributes to real-world violence and political unrest. Facebook is scheduled to meet with congress tomorrow to discuss the findings.
This story is ongoing, and we will update you with new information as it’s made available. While Facebook has acknowledged that its apps and services are currently inaccessible, it has not commented on what appears to be an unexpected shutdown.