Facebook blames server problems for massive outage

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Facebook Inc., (Facebook), the world-renowned social networking giant, has reportedly been bogged down by a severe outage that rendered social media users across the world incapable of accessing their respective accounts.

The outage, which also affected Instagram, was not the first of its kind, but could as well be regarded as the biggest in the history of Facebook.

Users cited snags not only with Facebook, but also its photo-sharing site Instagram, the messaging tools Messenger and WhatsApp and Oculus virtual reality devices.

DownDetector website - one of the internet's most used sources of numbers on outages - showed the number of complaints had peaked at more than 12,000, gradually falling to about 180 as of 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.

This outage did not impact WhatsApp message in the USA, but The Verge reported that users in Paraguay, India, Bangladesh, Argentina, and more noted that they experienced issues with sending messages.

Uptil 2018, Telegram had an active user base of 200 million monthly active users.

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Facebook said in a tweet that it had resolved the issues as of 9:24 AM on March 14. "As a result, many people had difficulty accessing our apps and services", a Facebook spokesperson said Thursday.

While the outage continued, The New York Times reported that U.S. prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into the social network´s practice of sharing users´ data with companies without letting them know. Bloomberg reports that the company said it was evaluating the overall impact of the issue on Wednesday and is still open to "the possibility of refunds for advertisers".

A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook, according to the Times.

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we will continue to do so".

Facebook has shared limited amounts of user data with smartphone makers and other outside partners to enable its services to work well on devices or with applications.