Yes, believe it or not. A recent crash on Facebook on August 1, 2014 sent residents of Los Angeles into a state of panic, resulting in an onslaught of 911 calls. Even though the outage only lasted for a short 35 minutes, it sent the lives of many LA residents into a tailspin. Some LA users began experiencing login troubles early in the morning before the full-blown crash later that afternoon. So the 911 calls began very early on Friday and lasted well into the early evening.
The congestion of “emergency” calls got so severe that the LAPD was forced to logon to Twitter and warn the public that Facebook is not a law enforcement issue. Facebook immediately posted a rather short and concise apology online, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”
Well, at least Facebook wasn’t in a state of panic. These things happen with all websites at some point or another. But this was the second such outage in nearly two months, so apparently some people in LA believed that the Apocalypse was drawing near. What’s next? Will cats and dogs be living together? Is total anarchy just moments away? How will we know what Miley Cyrus is having for dinner?
But many of the 1.3 billion affected Facebook users worldwide took the crash in stride, joking on Twitter, “#Facebook just went dead…run for the hills!” Another tweeted, “Facebook. Please remain calm, and do not try interacting with humans.”
The last time that a Facebook crash occurred was just this past June 19, 2014. And it only lasted for about the same 30 minute time frame. This time, the problems seemed to stem from an API issue that was affecting some of their digital web surfaces. But Facebook engineers had the site back up and running within the hour. Even with this fast response time, it was not quick enough for the LAPD who had to carry the brunt of the outage along with the Twitter feeds from thousands of frightened Facebook fanatics.
WHAT HAPPENED?The only clue as to why Facebook went down appeared on Facebook’s official status page. The message, titled “Increased errors/latency on all Platform surfaces,” in the company’s “issue history” on the page read: “Facebook is currently experiencing an issue that is affecting all API and web surfaces. Our engineers detected the issue quickly and are working to resolve it ASAP. We'll update shortly.”
Shortly was right. Only 35 minutes isn’t that long to wait. Actually, it was hellacious for some, as evidenced, of course, on Twitter. It’s no surprise that the rival social media site exploded with angry and hilarious reactions to the crash, just as it did the last few times Facebook tanked.
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