Facebook users around the world were shut out of the social networking service for over two hours on Thursday while the website dealt with its worst technical glitch in four years.
The website blamed the trouble - which started on Wednesday - on a problem with an automated system which was not correcting technical errors properly. "This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. (...) We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover," website administrators explained.
In an online statement made to its 500 million users, Facebook described the solution to the problem - turning the site off - as "quite painful".
The site was back up and running on Friday, but not after a stream of complaints from disgruntled members, who criticised the site for poor "disaster management", flowed onto the Web.