#WhenFacebookWasDown: Widespread Outage Reported

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MENLO PARK, California — Those early birds who start their day with a visit to Facebook were met Thursday morning with a rare error message: The social media giant appeared to be down.

News of the widespread outage spread on Twitter around 4 a.m. ET and lasted for about 30 minutes. The outage impacted both Facebook’s website and its mobile apps.

“Sorry, something went wrong,” read the error message, which appeared when users tried to access Facebook. “We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”

By daybreak on the East Coast of the U.S., all was well. But it was a rare blip for the world’s most popular social platform, which co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has famously vowed would never crash.

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time,” Facebook spokesman Iain Waterman told CNN. “We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100%. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

So what do Facebook’s 1.2 billion users do when the network is down? Some of them flocked to Twitter, of course.

Analytics site Topsy showed that tweets with the words “Facebook” and “down,” usually barely a blip on the screen, rocketed to over 70,000 in Thursday’s early hours.

While some users bemoaned their inability to access Facebook, many took a lighter look at the issue.

“Either Facebook is down or Mark Zuckerberg just set everything to PRIVATE,” humor site 9GAG posted. They followed up minutes later: “Facebook users are now roaming the streets in tears, showing photos of themselves in people’s faces & screaming ‘DO YOU LIKE THIS? DO YOU?”

A fate worse than social-media death, to be sure. “A moment of silence for all of those who had to interact face to face #facebookdown,”added user @topsupstore.

But what of the vital information Facebook provides?

“Facebook went down and I momentarily had no idea what someone I worked with in 2005’s dog had been doing this morning,” someone tweeted under the handle @cluedont.

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