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Police issued a plea for social media users not call them when Facebook and Instagram went down on Thursday morning.

Thousands of users found themselves unable to connect to social media for eight hours until 3am Nigeria Time.

Police in Canterbury, New Zealand wrote on Twitter: ‘We know. Our Facebook and Instagram haven’t been working either. 

‘Unfortunately we cannot do anything about this because, you know, they’re based in America and we’re the Police. So please don’t call us to report this. Pretty please.’

A spokesman told the media that police had not received any calls and the message was sent as a joke.

Joining the fun, South Australia State Emergency Service wrote on Twitter: ‘We know Facebook & Instagram are down. Please don’t call triple zero to let us know.’   

On Thursday morning Sunrise presenter Natalie Barr said Queensland police had issued a warning to dismayed social media users not to call Triple Zero.

But a Queensland Police spokesman told Daily Mail Australia no such warning was issued and they had received no calls about the issue. 

Facebook, Instagram and Messenger crashed primarily in major urban areas across the United States and Europe, along with parts of South America and Australia and New Zealand.

WhatsApp – also owned by Facebook – was affected by spotty service issues as well, though it did not appear to have been hit as hard as the other apps. 

When confirming the platform-wide issue, Facebook shut down speculation that the site may have been targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.  

‘We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,’ the firm Tweeted about two hours into the outage.

‘We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.’

‘We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack,’ Facebook later added.

Social media users flocked to Twitter to complain about the outage after finding that not only is Facebook down, but Instagram is too.

More than a third of Facebook users affected by the outage reported that they were experiencing a ‘total blackout.’

Others said they could not refresh the News Feed or log into their accounts.  Similar problems cropped up on Instagram and Messenger at roughly the same time.

While there has been speculation that the site may have been targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the firm said this is not the case

Instagram users have reported being unable to refresh the feed, log in, or access the desktop site. 

On Messenger, many users were not able to connect to the server at all and reported that they were not receiving messages.

Many were quick to point out that they are frequently turning to Twitter to check if other websites are down, noting that the platform somehow is always ‘standing strong’ despite service issues elsewhere.

Others took the opportunity to joke about Facebook’s recent privacy scandals.

‘Pages won’t load. I’m sure they’re busy loading new algorithms to sell your data & spy on you better and more efficiently,’ one users tweeted.

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