Facebook users took Twitter and other social media platforms on Friday to report that they had, for no explicit reason, been logged out of the big blue app. Memes and the phrase “So Facebook” quickly popped up during the incident, which the company apologised for on Saturday.
Apparently, the massive sign out of an unknown number of people was due to a “configuration change,” the company announced on Twitter. It didn’t explain much beyond that. Nonetheless, Engadget reported that it appeared that the people who were most affected by the incident were iPhone users using the app version of Facebook. The outlet stated that many users that used Facebook’s SMS two-factor authentication were having trouble logging back in.
So Facebook, heard it was a "configuration change".
???????????? to the engineers who fixed the issue and patiently tried to explain the cause to us to no avail. https://t.co/AUARhCZ7W2
— Facebook App (@facebookapp) January 23, 2021
According to Downdetector, which offers real-time outage information on digital services, thousands of people reported problems with Facebook on Friday. By Saturday, the reports had decreased drastically. At the time of publication, 87% of the most reported problems reported were related to logging in.
Many users who found themselves in this predicament and used two-factor authentication were eventually able to log back in, but often had to wait a while before they received an SMS code. Some users had to upload pictures of their ID to regain access to their account, per Engadget.
Although Facebook affirmed it had fixed the incident on Saturday, some users were still reporting that they couldn’t login. In response, Facebook directed users reporting the problem on Twitter to its help centre for further assistance. Curiously, on Twitter Facebook specifically directed users to an iPhone app help page, which could support the theory that it was an iPhone problem.
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“On January 22, a configuration change caused some people to be logged out of their Facebook accounts,” Facebook told USA Today on Saturday. “We investigated the issue and fixed it for everyone earlier today. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”
Gizmodo reached out to Facebook to ask whether it had any additional comment on the matter considering that some users are still having trouble logging in to their accounts. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we hear back.