Now we may know how powerful Facebook really is.
On Thursday, many major websites were taken down by an error that stemmed from Facebook, as Internet mainstays like MSNBC.com, CNN, Yelp and New York Magazine all sent users to redirect pages almost immediately upon loading.
Upon visiting the sites, users were redirected to an error page inside of the Facebook website, which seems to suggest that the error lies in Facebook Connect, the software platform that snakes Facebook’s reach throughout the entire backbone of the Internet. Connect is seen on many third-party-publisher websites in the form of the “Like” button — especially BuzzFeed, the viral news site which relies primarily on social media to spread throughout the Web.
“For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third-party sites to Facebook.com," A Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD. "The issue was quickly resolved, and Login with Facebook is now working as usual.”
Which is true — the previously affected sites are now loading normally.
Still, it’s an unpleasant reminder that many of the most popular sites on the Web can be felled by something as faulty as a “bug” in Facebook’s code. Yikes.