Lazy users freak out as ‘configuration changes’ caused massive Facebook logout

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You mean I have to actually remember my password?

Many Facebook users found themselves logged out on Friday. The social media giant said that the situation happened when it reconfigured the website, but did not go into specifics. It claims the problem was fixed on Saturday, but some users are still lockout as of Monday.

If you are a Facebook user, you may have noticed that you had to log back into the service this weekend even if you had your account set to stay logged on. If not, you have probably seen one of the many memes floating around mentioning it. Downdectector shows users started reporting Facebook problems Friday evening. The website status tracker received nearly 5,000 reports, with 77 percent being login-related.

In an emailed statement, Facebook claimed a “configuration change” was the culprit, but did not go into detail.

“On January 22, a configuration change caused some people to be logged out of their Facebook accounts. We investigated the issue and fixed it for everyone earlier today. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

It was a minor inconvenience for most users, only requiring that they log back into their accounts. As they did, many floated conspiracy theories and memes to explain the event.

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While memes of Bernie Sanders logging everybody out were poking fun at all the mitten memes, some believed that Facebook reset their accounts so that the social media giant could track them “off-site.” However, this explanation debunks itself when looking at off-site activity. Many of the webpages and apps reporting to Facebook go back as far as 2019.

TechSpot identified websites visited via links on Facebook, apps routinely used on the platform, and webpages and applications where the “sign-in with Facebook” option was used. There does not appear to be anything new here. The Off-Facebook Activity tool has been around since early last year.

Despite claiming it fixed the problem on Saturday, some users report they still cannot access their accounts as late as Monday. For many, the problem appears to be related to two-factor authentication, with Facebook failing to send them a 2FA code when attempting to log in to their profile. Facebook is likely handling continuing issues on a case-by-case basis.

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image credit: TY Lim

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