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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Facebook Suffers Slowdowns, Access Problems

The popular social network acknowledges some users may have difficulty accessing the site, but has yet to provide details of the cause.

Facebook suffered two days of technical difficulties that resulted in users finding it difficult to access the site or some of its services. How extensive the problems were is not clear. Facebook on Thursday acknowledged some users experienced difficulties, but offered no details, other than saying the problem had been fixed.

"Today we experienced technical difficulties causing the site to be unavailable for a number of users," the company said in a statement emailed Thursday to InformationWeek. "The issue has been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Users responding to the temporary difficulties vented their frustration at having to struggle to update friends on their doings, as well as receive the latest news from others. "Facebook needs to be upgraded," one user said.

On Twitter, people commenting on Facebook's problems took a more tongue-in-cheek approach. "Facebook Down!!! Millions of hours of productivity regained by businesses around the world," one tweet said.

Based on the error message received by some users, some of the problems on Wednesday appeared to be related to the domain name system hosting Facebook.com. Facebook reported on its developer website that the site was responding slowly because of "an issue with a third-party networking provider."

Facebook reported the problem solved a few hours later. There was no indication that Thursday's technical difficulties were related.

With a half billion users, a Facebook outage has repercussions across the web, where the social network connects to a large number of sites and applications found on smartphones and other mobile devices. As a comparison, a service disruption last year at another major Internet property, Google, resulted in a 5% drop in Internet traffic.

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