Every Topic Every Day

Global Outage Sparks Chaos: ‘Session Expired’ Plagues Facebook and Meta Platforms

In a shocking turn of events, Facebook, along with its family of platforms under Meta, faced a major global outage on Tuesday, March 5, leaving millions of users in the dark and prompting widespread panic. The disruption affected not only Facebook but also Instagram, Threads, and Messenger, causing users to be abruptly logged out of their accounts with the perplexing message, “Your session has expired. Please log in again.”

The outage, which began around 10:08 a.m. EST, led to a surge in reports on Down Detector, with more than 500,000 users nationwide experiencing issues accessing the platforms. The impact was not confined to the United States, as countries such as the U.K., Japan, and Brazil also reported widespread problems.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, acknowledged the technical issue, with Andy Stone, Director of Communications at Meta, taking to Twitter to reassure users, stating, “We’re aware people are having trouble accessing our services. We are working on this now.” The outage reached its peak, with over 72,000 posts on Twitter using the hashtag #FacebookDown.

The ‘session expired’ error message added to the confusion, leaving users scrambling to regain access to their accounts. Attempts to log back in were met with frustration as the error persisted. Concerns escalated as users, both on mobile and desktop devices, found themselves unable to refresh feeds, change passwords, or even access Meta’s Admin center.

At 12:36 p.m. EST, Meta announced that they had successfully resolved the technical issue, apologizing for any inconvenience caused. The company assured users that services had been fully restored, bringing relief to the social media-dependent global population.

Speculation arose regarding the cause of the outage, with some pointing to the looming deadline for Big Tech companies to comply with the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act. The outage, occurring just days before the deadline, raised questions about Meta’s preparations and potential connections to regulatory changes.

Despite the resolution, the incident reignited discussions about the vulnerability of social media platforms and the impact of such outages on users globally. This disruption, reminiscent of similar incidents in the past, highlights the growing dependence on digital platforms and the need for robust measures to prevent and manage such technical glitches.

As users returned to their social media routines, sharing memes and GIFs with #FacebookDown, the incident served as a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of the digital world and the ripple effects a momentary disruption can have on the lives of millions. The ‘session expired’ message, now etched in the collective memory of Facebook users, remains a symbol of the day social media giants faced an unexpected halt.