Facebook Inc.’s

FB -5.14%

platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook were down Monday, with users receiving error messages when trying to access the sites.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook wrote in a message posted on rival Twitter. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

The outage comes a day after the whistleblower who provided documents that formed the foundation of The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series went public.

Frances Haugen,

a former product manager at Facebook, said she acted to help prompt change at the social-media giant.

Facebook shares dropped more than 5% on Monday amid a broad-market selloff.

Users began reporting problems late Monday morning, according to Downdetector, a site that monitors website outages. A spokesperson at Downdetector’s parent company, Ookla, said the outage to Facebook and its other companies was “widespread and global in scale.”

Facebook appeared to have made a change Monday morning to its network routing information, said

Doug Madory,

director of internet analysis at the network monitoring firm Kentik.

This change affected the company’s domain name system servers, which function as a kind of Internet lookup system. They link domain names such as Facebook.com to the numerical Internet Protocol addresses used by browsers and web servers.

The change made Facebook’s DNS servers unavailable, forcing its services—Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram—offline, Mr. Madory said.

Facebook wasn’t immediately able to comment on the suggested reason for the outage.

According to Facebook’s quarterly financial results from July, the social-media giant said it has 1.19 billion daily active users. Some estimates of the company and its family of apps show more than 2.5 billion daily users.

Outages, while uncommon, do occur to some of the largest tech companies in the world.

Some Facebook services briefly went down in March, and workplace messaging platform Slack Technologies Inc. had a service disruption for several hours earlier this year. Last December, more than a dozen of

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google services, which include Gmail and YouTube, also suffered disruptions.

As many employees turned to cloud services and other connected platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic, the ripple effects of the outages have been felt more.

Write to Talal Ansari at [email protected]

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