Facebook Faulty Configuration Changes: Who, What, Why?

update: facebook just posted another update With just a little more detail.

After nearly 6 hours of Facebook downtime, which began just before noon on Monday, October 4, 2021, and several hours after the resumption, Facebook has finally posted an official explanation for the outage on its medium. engineering blog, The reason for the blackout was stated to be a “Faulty configuration change.”

Although less than 24 hours have passed, it is still troubling as we have seen more transparent explanations published after major outages at this stage. cloudflare, Dyn’s Major DDoSand others.

For example, take a look Cloudflare’s detailed explanation of Facebook’s outage From your vantage point of connecting to Facebook. In the article, Cloudflare explained that “At 15:58 UTC, we noticed that Facebook had stopped announcing routes to its DNS prefixes.”

Who, what, why?

Facebook said overnight that their “The engineering teams have learned that this communication was interrupted due to a configuration change on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers.” and that “The root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change.” He also added that “There is no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

From a company already plagued by transparency complaints, this blog post doesn’t leave us with as much information as we already knew. We still ask Facebook who, what, and most importantly, why this outage happened?

Facebook and transparency in one sentence

list of criticism of facebook for data, user privacy, transparency, and their collection and management many other complaints is long. Coincidentally, or not, just the night before this outage, Francis Haugen filed a whistleblower complaint with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Alleged that Facebook misled investors “Prioritizing Development Over Security” Ignoring Research Showing That It Increases “Anger, polarizing, [and] divisive material” For the perceived loss of public safety, for profit. She appeared on 60 Minutes on 3 October 2021 with the claim that “Facebook chooses benefits over security.”

It is also notable that Haugen revealed how He secretly copied thousands of pages of Facebook’s internal research to provide evidence Showing that the company is lying to the public about making meaningful progress against hate, violence and misinformation.

Considering Facebook’s reputation and with Haugen’s recent release of internal research documents, this one asks: is it possible for Facebook to be completely transparent about the reasons for yesterday’s outage?

Well, this is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity for them to do so! Especially if there is nothing suspicious about yesterday’s outage.


Currently, we know much less than we did a day ago. One could argue that it takes time to examine these things to provide the details. Facebook needs more time to make sure that if they provide a more detailed report, they get it right the first time.

However, let’s compare this to Cloudflare’s earlier blog post after a similar outage in 2019, where he said: “This is a small placeholder blog and will be replaced with a full post-mortem and disclosure of what happened today.” In contrast, Facebook left no sign of understanding its responsibility to publicly disclose as much of the details of this outage as possible. Instead, they end the blog post with: “…we are working to understand more of what happened today so that we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient.”

Let’s hope that as they work to understand more about this, that they share such information. The outage affected the billions of users who have uploaded their photos, conversations and other personal data to Facebook’s family of platforms. And so, we wait for the answer that exactly who, what happened and why did it happen?

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