Update (1:18 p.m.): This story has been modified to include comment from Facebook.
For some of the legions of Facebook users eager to get on the site to see what their friends have been up to, play Scrabble or look at photos, Monday morning has not been the best of times.
That's because some users of the popular social-networking site--though not all--have found themselves locked out due to some sort of Facebook-initiated downtime.
"Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance," a message received by some users when they tried to log in said. "It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Some are speculating that the outage may be due to Facebook's
For its part, Facebook said later Monday that's not the case.
"That is the error message that occurs when someone's database is inaccessible," Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt told CNET News by email Monday afternoon, after the problems had seemingly been resolved. "This can happen for a number of reasons. Most of them are related to hardware issues. Usually it is a per-user problem (not everyone will see that at the same time, maybe just a small handful of people) and has nothing to do with the redesign."
Of course, some may scoff at those for whom not being able to use sites like Facebook for a short time is a big deal. But while it's true that the world goes on even when Facebook, Twitter or MySpace are down, such maintenance work--especially when down in the middle of a weekday--can indeed be an inconvenience for people whose professional and/or social lives depend on them.
On the other hand, for such people, these outages put the focus on just how fragile our personal networks are and how much dependence many have on systems that can go down at any time.