Social media giant Facebook and its related sites were offline for more than five hours yesterday due to “a faulty configuration change,” and the Cryptoverse – as well as a major celebrity – used it to further the discussion on the need and benefits of decentralization.
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp were all down, affecting its more than 3.5bn users, with Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer taking to Twitter to say that they were experiencing “networking issues.”
Per the update on the outage, the underlying cause also impacted many of the internal tools and systems. They found that “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication [which] had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
The issue seems to have been Domain Name System (DNS)-related.
“So would this be a good time for facebook.com to become facebook.eth,” asked his 3.8 million followers on Twitter American rapper and record producer Busta Rhymes.
The .ETH is native to the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which is a blockchain-based naming system that runs as a set of smart contracts on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.
The popular musician went on to say that from his basic understanding of blockchain, technically speaking, “can’t a social network like Facebook be built on a blockchain?” He added that he’s asking a question in order to learn.
“Busta is asking better questions than 99% of crypto twitter,” commented Ethereum-focused wallet MyCrypto.
The Guardian’s technology editor, Alex Hern, tweeted that the issue with this latest incident is that “Facebook runs EVERYTHING through Facebook.” Once they had sent an update to a routing protocol, instead of having the option of an easy fix to send another update, “when its servers were booted off the internet, it also booted off… the ability to send that follow-up message and the ability to log-in to the system that would send the follow-up message.”
Facebook’s DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were unreachable, explained web infrastructure and website security company Cloudflare further, saying:
“It was as if someone had “pulled the cables” from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet.”
Basically, its heavily centralized system led to a cascading series of events.
Many in the comments expressed gratitude that Busta Rhymes is willing to learn about and spread the word about the blockchain industry and decentralization. At the same time, quite a few users also expressed doubt that Facebook would be willing to approach anything remotely close to decentralization, with some saying that the reasons behind it may be control and revenue.
“Once these were separate services but corporations just love to centralize to save money and drive efficiencies,” commented a Redditor.
Others argued that Ethereum currently is “not fit for purpose,” but may be after it transitions to Ethereum 2.0.
Replying to a question if an outage like this could happen were a decentralized Facebook developed on Ethereum, some argued that there is a difference between ‘centralized’ and ‘distributed’, while others said that the event could technically still happen, but that its cost would be massive.
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