Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp ‘Died’ Last Night, Here’s what Happened

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are among the affected in the 6 hour blackout last night.

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For six hours, all of the applications in the Facebook family went down.

Applications like WhatsApp, Instagram and even big daddy Facebook went offline while most Malaysians were asleep.

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While some speculated that this was a hacker’s doing, or an internal protest over the whistleblower allegations, so far there is no proof that this was a malicious attack.

While it is still unclear to how the outage happened last night, according to Facebook, the problem is apparently the DNS service in one of their data centres.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash


Domain Name System (DNS), is a directory that translates domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

When you enter Facebook.com into your browser or launch the app, the DNS will change the name into an IP address that then connects your computer or app to the service.

In simple terms it is the phone book for the internet.


When the IP addresses of the Facebook’s family of applications disappeared from the DNS for a few hours, its 3.5 billion users could not access their Facebook and Instagram pages including WhatsApp chats.

The blackout also affected any applications that use Facebook logins, like Oculus, and even some smart home appliances wouldn’t work at all.

You were possibly locked out of your own home for a few hours.

To give a sense of how big a problem this was, Facebook engineers had to be sent to their data centre in the US. The last time this happened was back in 2019, when a technical fault happened and their servers needed to be reconfigured.


Seeing the world’s largest social media platform going down for 6 hours is a rare sight.

Facebook has since claimed to have restored the internet structure of one of their data centres that was causing the cascade of their whole platform. The problem child was located in Santa Clara, California.

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