Software Engineer Accidentally Shuts Down Facebook - gHacks Tech News

Software Engineer Accidentally Shuts Down Facebook

Social networking site Facebook was offline for half an hour yesterday due to an error by a software engineer at the company as reported by the BBC.  The engineer accidentally put internal prototype pages online, including a revamped photos section and new page management features, and the entire website had to be taken offline while the mess was cleaned up.

In a statement on its blog, Facebook said "For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally." read the message. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologise for the inconvenience."

Some people got a brief look at the new features, which are not yet ready for launch.  One is called "memories" and indexes what people do on Facebook chronologically.

ReadWriteWeb published a list of five things that people could do during the outage, such as using instant messaging instead, using the telephone to call people or reading a book.

On Twitter, one widely circulated tweet said "Facebook is down. Half the world population had suddenly become productive. The other half of the population is using Twitter."

This is a mildly embarrasing accident for Facebook but it won't do any more harm than leaving one of the company's engineers feeling a bit sheepish for a few days, and it's one of the hazards that comes with running and maintaining such a large website.


We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Previous Post: «
Next Post: »


  1. Jojo said on December 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    “Some people got a brief look at the new features, which are not yet ready for launch. One is called “memories” and indexes what people do on Facebook chronologically.”
    Ooooh. This should be real useful to the authorities when they are investigating someone!

  2. Heinrich said on December 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    OMG! Facebook down? I can’t breath.

    Just kidding. I won’t use facebook. Never ever.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.

Be polite: we do not allow comments that threaten or harass, or are personal attacks. Please leave politics and religion out of discussions!