Facebook, Instagram down Wednesday: Facebook blames server configuration for longest-ever outage

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Instagram users began reporting problems with the photo-sharing app shortly after Facebook seemed to go haywire.

Facebook acknowledged the issues, and assured users that they were not caused by a malicious DDoS, in a post on Twitter - the only social network which appeared to survive the crash, as it's not part of Facebook's "family of apps".

Police in Bothell, Washington had to make a similar plea on their Twitter account.

Instead of selfies and status updates, many Facebook users got an error message during the outage that said: "Sorry, Something went wrong".

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Facebook blamed a "server configuration change" Thursday for the platform's longest-ever outage, which also affected Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users worldwide. It didn't elaborate on the server change. "We are 100 percent back up and running and apologise for any inconvenience", a Facebook spokesperson said.

No cause has been given but Facebook said it wasn't a distributed denial of service or cyberattack.

According to the BBC, the outage is the worst in Facebook's history. The interruption also affected gameplay for owners of Oculus VR headsets, a company that Facebook bought in 2014.

Facebook declined to add to the company statement on Twitter.

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Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S. federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and two state agencies in NY.

The newspaper said the companies had access to user data that Facebook previously said was inaccessible.

According to the report, a grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook.

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