While outages have become an expected part of the Twitter experience, social network Facebook has a pretty good reputation for staying available. Beginning on Wednesday evening, and carrying over into Thursday, the site experienced rare outages that affected not only the main Facebook.com site, but also the elements of Facebook that are shared among other sites, such as the ubiquitous “Like” button.
In addition to API latency issues mentioned on the Facebook Platform site, a statement from Facebook on Thursday said:
“We’re currently experiencing some site issues causing Facebook to be slow or unavailable for some users. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”
After two and a half hours, the site returned to full functionality. A message from Facebook Director of Software Engineering Robert Johnson said, “This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it…The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.”