Facebook says ‘configuration change’ behind strange glitch, some users suggest platform was hacked

A Facebook “configuration change” impacted users’ feeds in an unusual way early Wednesday leading many to believe that the social media platform may have been hacked.

Of the 2.8 billion global users of Facebook, thousands began reporting troubles as their feeds were awash with strangers posting comments to the pages of celebrities. According to the website Downdetector which monitors outages on websites, a spike in problems for the platform began early in the morning for the eastern timezone.

“User reports indicate Facebook is having problems since 2:00 AM EDT,” they posted on Twitter. A graph on their website also showed the massive spike in reported issues occurring.

(Image: Downdetector)

Confused users began flocking to Twitter to share images of the problems they were experiencing on Facebook to see if others were having similar troubles with their feeds.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook initially reported, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble with their Facebook Feed. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience.”

In a later update, the head of innovation communications for Meta Alexandru Voica posted to Twitter, “Earlier today, a configuration change caused some people to have trouble with their Facebook Feed. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

According to the Daily Mail, this configuration change is related to feedback from users who had grown tired of the “algorithmically-driven” content that had taken over the platform since 2011.

Facebook is now splitting its homepage into separate tabs so that users can maintain the current experience with a “Home” feed that offers up promoted content or access the “Feed” tab which will show them a chronological order of pages and people that they follow.

Evidently, the problem had been resolved for most users within three hours of initial reports. Last October, Meta’s social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram experienced three major outages, according to Forbes. Of those, the worst had occurred on Oct. 4 and left the platforms down for around six hours. It is believed that those outages had cost the company as much as $100 million in lost revenue.

This time around, some users were pleased with the apparent glitch and sought ways to capitalize on the issue by using the extensive reach of celebrity accounts to promote their own missions that, according to The Verge, included “spamming PayPal donation links or promoting cryptocurrency projects.”

Of course, the glitch on the major platform would not be complete without a fair share of users taking shots at Facebook co-founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team’s efforts to correct the problem before it got further out of hand.


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