The error stemmed from the Facebook Connect API, which allows users to sync their accounts at other websites to their Facebook accounts. However, users did not need to be actively using the Connect API for the issue to occur; if they were simultaneously logged in to both Facebook and the website with the API, they would be re-directed to the error page. While this major error wasn’t the result of a virus or a large-scale hack, it stands as the most disturbing reminder to date of Facebook’s sheer reach and power on the web. Facebook has grown so large that it essentially draws the rest of the Internet into its orbit. When it experiences a major problem, the potential is there for everything to experience a major problem.
Facebook (Briefly) Hijacks Millions of Websites
For a brief period of time on the night of February 7, web users were redirected to Facebook from every single page on the Internet that allows you to access it via Facebook. That’s right: from CNN readers to Hulu watchers, users of just about every high profile website were taken to a Facebook error page instead of the site they were looking for.
In their typically short and terse way, Facebook released a statement about the incident, telling Mashable that, “For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third party sites. The issue was quickly resolved and Login with Facebook is now working as usual.”