The Seven Best “Why Facebook Is Down” Cracks

Unless you spent today vacationing with a Stone Age tribe in a remote country somewhere, you probably heard about an outage that Facebook experienced, one that lasted for several hours and took out not just the website but also — as it did in April after the F8 conference — all of the Facebook-powered “like” and “recommend” buttons on hundreds of thousands of webpages all across the web, replacing them with helpful messages saying “Service Unavailable — DNS Error.” This was the cause of much hilarity on Twitter, which has had its own share of downtime issues, so we collected some of the tweets we liked the best here.

  1. from the Oregon Public Broadcasting account: “BREAKING NEWS: Facebook is down. Worker productivity rises. U.S. climbs out of recession.”
  2. from Houston Chronicle tech blogger Dwight Silverman: “Twitter to Facebook: “. . . and STAY down.””
  3. from someecards: “It seems Facebook is down and Zuckerberg won’t bring it back up unless we promise not to see the movie.”
  4. from NYT developer Brian Hamman: “Allow me to use the current Facebook meltdown to remind everyone that your Friendster account still exists and it’s awesome.”
  5. from journalist and consultant Simon Owens: “Mark Zuckerberg logged into his account from his brand new Facebook phone and accidentally hit the “delete” button”

Meanwhile, Facebook has posted an explanation of the outage, which it says is the worst it has had in over four years. But it’s not nearly as funny — apparently the problem was the functioning of “an automated system for verifying configuration values” in the network’s database. The system is designed to “check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store,” the site said, adding that “this works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.” See? Not funny at all.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
Lessons From Google: How Facebook Can Reach One Billion Users
The Age of the Feed-Based User Interface
Multiple Models For Social Media Businesses

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Spencer Holtaway