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Facebook's COO: Response to disabled accounts was 'too slow'

Sheryl Sandberg says the database failure was a consequence of the social network's rapid growth, which sometimes causes unexpected snags.

PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg admitted in a talk here on Thursday evening that the company's response to a database outage that knocked out approximately 150,000 user accounts was "too slow."

"It's a very small percentage of our users, but it's a lot of people," Sandberg said of the affected users. "We want them to be able to (access Facebook) every day. We resolved it in about a week and a half. I think that was too slow."

Numerous Facebook users began complaining early this month that they could not access the social network, instead receiving a notice that their accounts were "down for maintenance." Many of them claimed that repeated requests for information from Facebook went unanswered, and clamored for better customer service and communication.

The whole affair was "a little frustrating, but it ended," Sandberg said, and chalked it up to the social network's extremely rapid growth. It now has more than 300 million active users around the world.

"We are, I promise, doing our best to scale," she continued, reiterating that all data (except for some recent updates, a statement from Facebook said last week), "and our growth means we're sometimes a little bit behind."