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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

Facebook is down, discuss...

I'm curious about what comes to mind. Whether it is software related or otherwise, what does today's outage evoke for you?

What's the worst case scenario for Facebook?

Discussion (44)

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willsmart profile image
willsmart • Edited on

It probably has nothing to do with a rogue dependency, but this has maybe a 5% chance of fitting what happened
Original here: https://xkcd.com/2347/(Orig xkcd image xkcd.com/2347/ )

Edit: this is the actual thing that happened: blog.cloudflare.com/october-2021-f...
It seems that some poor soul at fb issued a bunch of BGP withdrawal updates.

I've updated the pic, bringing it up to maybe a 90% change of being on the money

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

I had a similar thought when I heard about what happened:

months ago: "Hey, did you hear? Bob got fired the other day" - "Bob? What did that guy do here anyway?"
now: "Oh."

😂

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flrichar profile image
Fred Richards

I thought it was DNS at first, too. It's kinda ironic that it ended up being a BGP problem. It's almost as if Facebook forgot how to be an internet company.

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n13 profile image
Nik

Interesting. I was looking into the BGP a few years back and I think we realized that that system would allow for massive hacks. It’s an ancient system that is poorly protected yet at the core of everything…

So it could be this was a mistake as they claim.

Or it would also be the first vector of attack a serious actor would use.

It’s exactly like this picture if the internet is a castle with many locks gates and controls then the BGP is the back door that someone left open.

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Brad

As someone who hasn't used Facebook for nearly a decade (makes me feel old not gonna lie), I'm finding the effects of the outage on other people more interesting than the outage itself.

I wonder if anyone who uses these services will realize how much they actual spend on them. Or if they will find they don't really need/want them. (this is especially true for the social media apps)

Odds are most will just go back to their usual usage once its back up tho ;D

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I wonder if anyone who uses these services will realize how much they actual spend on them.

Probably the biggest shame of Facebook is how many restaurants, etc. closed down their websites and only have a Facebook. It's a shame bigger than one incident, but it's something to think about.

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buphmin

I think restaurants ditching menus for facebook is a symptom of something larger though. A lot of web dev agencies out there either won't work with projects the size of a restaurant menu, or will way over sell what is needed. Most restaurant's need a handful of static HTML pages to display basic info, something that could be done by a FE dev in less than a day. My first job tried to pitch a massive wordpress build with all kinds of stuff for like $50k to a local restaurant that just needed an online menu.

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leob profile image
leob

I can't blame those small businesses for ditching their costly websites and just throwing an FB page together, cheap and easy does it, and for web devs or agencies there's no money to be made anyway on these small websites, so I'd say win/win situation ...

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bradtaniguchi profile image
Brad

I personally haven't ran into any restaurants with their menu being isolated only to Facebook. I've ran into more restaurants that have QR codes to get online menus during the pandemic. This doesn't include all those other restaurants that integrate with mobile ordering/delivery.

The on restaurant I know that has a weak online presence is actually thinking about closing shop 100% due to the stresses of the pandemic. However, even this place had integrated with mobile ordering/delivery.

Its possible I'm just avoiding those places, or where I live that just "isn't a thing", but I can see and understand there are places where that is more of the norm.

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leob profile image
leob

Why's that a shame if I may ask? As a small/medium size business an FB page seems an easy and practical way to get a web presence with minimal cost and effort - I'd say this is one of the most obvious "real" benefits of FB (most of the other benefits are mainly for the sake of FB's and Marc Z's pockets lol) ...

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

It's interesting for me because I didn't find out about it for hours since I apparently don't use any Facebook things, with the sole exception of the Quest 2 which requires an account... and as far as I know it was unaffected because it doesn't actually use Facebook in normal running. I gather I'm an exception.

Oh, and I got an email from a friend for the first time in so long it felt like a handwritten letter.

I used it as an opportunity to nag my friends about federated systems.

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afif profile image
Temani Afif • Edited on

I think It's good time for people like me to argue why they don't use Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp 😅
Everyone is on fire while me ..

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

I use those services but I only really care about contacting people and good old SMS is still standing 😁

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LUKESHIRU

I was like Grogu as well, until I noticed that Oculus was down, the only Facebook thing I actually use nowadays :'(

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

I think it's highlighted how often I passively open Facebook on my phone but also how little I usually take in when scrolling.

I've felt the whatsapp outage slightly more as that's my default messaging app but it's not hard to fall back to SMS.

I find it strange that all 3 services seem to have a single point of failure.

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phamn23 profile image
Nathan Pham

I agree, I think DNS is basically the internet's single point of failure.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I find it strange that all 3 services seem to have a single point of failure.

Kind of feels like the Internet as a whole is lacking in this regard. Other systems may or may not be more robust, but there just isn't as much diversity as there used to be in the world wide web.

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

I guess the next step would be a peer to peer DNS but that feels like a headache waiting to happen

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author
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kayis profile image
K (he/him)

It's always DNS.

We really need a better alternative...

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silentsudo profile image
Ashish Agre

A human guide..

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dillon_maks profile image
Dillon Maks

I feel as though the timing on the release of the Pandora papers, and the case with a whistle blower trying to prove that facebook algorithmically prioritizes money over safety may have something to do with it. DNS and such seems like a distraction, but no way I’d be able to know for sure.

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n13 profile image
Nik

“Whistleblowers” which argue for censorship aren’t whistleblowers, they’re agents for the other side.

At no time in history has it been the good guys trying to suppress information. Every time it’s been the bad guys. And yes even the worst of the bad guys sold censorship to the population as something good if not necessary.

It’s like I’ve always said - you can lie about your intentions but you can’t hide your intentions. Someone’s intentions are encoded in their actions.

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I've been shouting this from the virtual rooftops all day. This is my Epstein.

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dillon_maks profile image
Dillon Maks

Convenient timing. I’m not doubting that there were DNS issues, but they easily could’ve been exaggerated to diminish coverage over the pandora papers, and gives facebook a chance to cover up anything.

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karandpr profile image
Karan Gandhi

From software perspective, - Oauth failures.
Facebook is a popular Oauth provider and if that is down , lot of customers who use Facebook to login are essentially locked out.

This is good time for developers to think about scenarios when/if major Oauth providers like Google,Facebook, Apple fail and create fallback mechanisms for account recovery.

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Bertil Muth

I use Facebook as an example of “basic factors“ (or dissatisfiers, according to the Kano model). We‘ve come to expect social media to be always available. That doesn‘t make us particularly happy, we‘re just used to it. But when it‘s not available, it makes the news. Case in point today.

The interesting part for me is that we don’t even notice the change as it happens. Anybody remember the Twitter fail whale? Outages were much more common a few years ago.

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thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner

Therapeutic.

That's what I thought of it. I mean nothing to worry about, there was no doubt a load of effort going to be thrown at it, perhaps as much as the US invests into hurricane relief as they mighty dollar needs saving as much as poor folk on floodplains in that grand old nation I'm confident. But the sort of thing that can hit any service any time, and on a bad day a load of them at once, and one really bad day lots and lots of them for a long time etc. And it's nice for folk to remember, that well, nothing is 24/7 forever ;-).

Besides, most other social media channels were up tod iscuss it (as was this one).

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steveblue profile image
Steve Belovarich

Good riddance!

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jacobmgevans profile image
Jacob Evans

Looks like Facebooks BGP routing went "poof" just up in smoke... I am intrigued to find out exactly what happen. As things unravel.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Yes, this is going to be a fascinating retrospective.

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anuvindhs profile image
Anuvindh Sankaravilasam • Edited on

I believe its a DNS propagation issue, and Facebook will be just a start . we might see such outrages if this is a cyber attack . Even if its not , black hats got one more door to explore....
JustSaying

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n13 profile image
Nik

The state level actors must have known about the weakness of the BGP forever. They also decided to not do anything about it after all this may come in handy one day.

A friend of mine is a security enthusiast/ hobbyist and he explained to me a hack using the BGP years ago.

Now I have other things to do - I like to create things and I don’t hack.

But if he could figure it out - most certainly others know about it. And if they haven’t used it then that’s because they keep it around as another option in their quiver.

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emmaisa59135261 profile image
Emma Isabella

use alternative social media app

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Ahhh, peace and quiet.

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jayjeckel profile image
Jay Jeckel

The best five and a half hours since social media infected the web. Too bad it wasn't permanent and didn't take twitter with it.

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kayis profile image
K (he/him)

It's probably about time for decentralized/Web3 alternatives.

I mean, sure, Solana was down too a few weeks ago. But generally, this should be the way forward.

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pandaquests profile image
pandaquests

Didn't even notice 🤣

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jmau111 profile image
Julien Maury • Edited on

It's the future Facebook Universe. It always starts with a Big Bang 😇

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briang123 profile image
Brian Gaines

Wait, what happened???😜

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timur_kh profile image
Timur Khadimullin

productivity must have shot up across the globe though

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sherrydays profile image
Sherry

Coming back online now?

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eljayadobe profile image
Eljay-Adobe

When I'm down, I treat myself to some chocolate. I like Lindt chocolates the best.

Maybe some chocolate would help Facebook cheer up.

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Raymond Neil Cerezo

this is a comprehensive info:
blog.cloudflare.com/october-2021-f...