Don't panic! It's just that Facebook has been down

Social site suffers service disruption for several hours Tuesday night

Facebook has been down on Tuesday night, giving users error messages or long response times.

The crowd-sourced online monitoring site Downrightnow.com reported at 10:20 p.m. ET that Facebook had been suffering a likely service disruption for the past four hours. And the site Downforeveryoneorjustme.com also noted that Facebook appeared to be suffering an outage.

It's not clear how widespread the outage was. Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Going to Facebook's website for the past hour has resulted in long response times and stalled page uploads.

Some users reported on Twitter that they have been receiving error messages saying, "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can."

Chatter on Twitter only escalated as Facebook's problem dragged on tonight. Frustrated users took to the micro-blogging site to vent and crack jokes at the situation.

"Perhaps it's time to turn off the computer when I go to Twitter to find out if Facebook is down!" tweeted @DeniseWinters.

Also, @stevekovach tweeted, "We're tweeting about Facebook being down like there's a blackout or no water pressure or something."

Some Facebook users, though, took the opportunity to joke about the recent furor over government surveillance programs, which were leaked by Edward J. Snowden, who worked as a contracted systems administrator for the NSA.

"Facebook is down. No worries, it's just the NSA conducting a routine maintenance check on all of your messages," tweeted @EC11885.

And @DejaVuBoy tweeted, "#facebook is down. We must be under attack. SNOWDEN'S VENGEANCE."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at  @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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