Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger are back online after a six-hour-long outage which began late on Monday, affecting tens of millions of users worldwide. All these are owned by Facebook and the outage caused the stocks of the social media giant to plummet.

The California-based company said late on Monday that “the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change”, adding that it had “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

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WhatsApp said on Twitter that it is back and running at 100 per cent. “Thank you to everyone around the world today for your patience while our teams worked diligently to restore WhatsApp. We truly appreciate you and continue to be humbled by how much people and organizations rely on our app every day,” the company said in the tweet.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also apologised to those affected by the outage.

Here’s everything that happened in the dramatic day for the social media giant:

• For the six hours when Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp were down, 3.5 billion users could not access the social media platforms and messaging services.

• Facebook stocks plummeted almost 5% following Monday’s outage.

• The outage tracking site, Downdetector said it had received reports about almost 14 million disruptions in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, India and several other countries.

• The New York Times reported that Facebook had deployed a team at its data centre in California to carry out a “manual reset” of the servers.

• Users also flagged disruptions with service providers Vodafone, T-Mobile and Verizon in the UK, Italy, the US, Germany and other countries, according to Downdetector.

• The issues appear to primarily impact internet use on cell phones or in gaming apps and other sites where Facebook is used to log-in. The ability to make phone calls or send text messages was not impacted.

• Several tech experts, however, believe a DNS (domain name system) issue could be behind the crash, reported news agency DPA. The system converts website names typed out with letters into IP addresses that computers can process.

• John Graham-Cumming, the chief technology officer of the cloud service Cloudflare, said that continued attempts by users to access the site have also led to overloading on DNS services.

• A similar major outage hit Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in April 2019 – but the platforms only stayed down for a few hours.

• In July this year, issues at the internet network company Akamai also caused several major websites to briefly go down. At the time, the firm said the issue was due to a DNS issue that directs browsers to websites.

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