The system was down: Facebook crashed due to infrastructure changes

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Today was a dark day for the Internet: We’ve confirmed that, yes, Facebook was down for a significant portion of users around the globe.

In fact, it looked for a while like the situation was worse that just a simple outage — DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com showed a unique error message for the site: “Huh? http://www.facebook.com doesn’t look like a site on the interwho.” We (and others around the web) thought this might signal DNS (domain name server) trouble for the social network.

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. PT: The site is now working for some users and still throwing errors for others. No word yet from our friends in Menlo Park.

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m. PT: Facebook reps tell VentureBeat via email, “Earlier today we made a change to our DNS infrastructure, and that change resulted in some people being temporarily unable to reach the site. We detected and resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

And this sad news came just a few hours after we confirmed widespread Gmail outages. If we start seeing Fail Whales, that’ll make some kind of social media nightmare trifecta.

In the event that you just can’t wait a few minutes to get your Facebook fix, try beta.facebook.com instead.

In the meantime, y’all sit tight and watch this old-timey video:


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools. Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.