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The logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. The New York Times reports on Wednesday
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook grappled Thursday with a widespread outage, forcing millions of people to taste life without the world's largest social media platform.
It was probably the last thing Facebook needed as it stumbles from problem to problem, including outrage over its use of customers' private data.
The outage began Wednesday afternoon and triggered a flood of gripes on downdetector.com, which tracks trouble accessing online pages, and on rival Twitter.
A Downdetector map late Wednesday showed Facebook service troubles persisting in parts of Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America.
As of early Thursday the problem remained in parts of Europe and Asia, although moaning from America and else where kept coming.
"You guys should look in the mirror at yourselves and hear how you sound," a person with the handle Johanna wrote on Downdetector around 0745 GMT.
"You make it sound as if it's the end of the world just because you can't be on Facebook. Lmfao. Get a real life instead of a digital one!?!?!?"
Another whose handle is Palmina D'Allesandro mused that time without Mark Zuckerberg's baby might have been good for making the real, human kind.
"Up and running here.....for now.....But I predict a baby boom in 9 months, Remember that day FB went down and people were forced to notice each other?", this person wrote.
Some media outlets branded the outage as the biggest in Facebook's history.
The outage, of unknown origin, also affected Facebook-owned Instagram, as well as Messenger, although Instagram later said it was back up.
In some cases the apps could be accessed but would not load posts or handle missives.
'Not a DDoS attack'
The California firm which has more than two billion users acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.
"We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible," a Facebook statement said on Twitter.
A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.
"We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack," Facebook said.
Distributed denial of service cyber strikes involve hackers overwhelming websites with tidal waves of simultaneous requests, typically using armies of computers infected with malicious code.
The social network said there was no update of the situation as evening arrived in California.
Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem, and a September disruption was said to be the result of "networking issues."
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