Facebook and Instagram go down early Tuesday morning, insomniacs briefly freak out

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Facebook and Instagram suffered self-inflicted outages for approximately 40 minutes early Tuesday morning, an event worthy of a late-night news alert from the Associated Press.

AP reports that the social media platforms were also down in Asia, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Insomniacs flocked to Twitter, the one major holdout during the tragic social media outage of 2015. If you only rely on the Sun-Times’ Facebook page, this seems like a good time to remind you that we are also active on Twitter.

The glitch reported in Asia, the United States, Australia and the U.K. affected access from PCs and Facebook’s mobile app. The social media giant’s Instagram service was also inaccessible.

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn’t a cyberattack. Lizard Squad, a group notorious for attention seeking antics online, claimed responsibility on Twitter for the outages.

“This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” Facebook said.

The temporary loss of service may be Facebook’s biggest outage since Sept. 24, 2010 when it was down for about 2.5 hours.

On its website for developers, Facebook said the “major outage” lasted one hour.

Facebook has about 1.35 billion active users and Instagram has some 300 million.

News of the Facebook outage set rival social network Twitter alight, propelling the hashtag “facebookdown” to top trend on the site. It comes ahead of Facebook reporting its quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

As access to Facebook returned, some users in Asia reported that the site was loading slowly or not offering full functionality.

Services were restored about 1:09 a.m. CST.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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