Users signing in to a range of websites using the Facebook Connect feature were unable to reach the sites and redirected to a Facebook error message.
Facebook has confirmed that a bug in the application caused the access freeze in the major websites, with CNN, the Huffington Post, New York Times, MSNBC, Business Insider and Gawker websites just a few of those reported to have been affected.
“For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third party sites to Facebook.com. The issue was quickly resolved, and Login with Facebook is now working as usual,” Facebook said in a statement.
While the glitch was repaired in a relatively short period of time, speculation and concern is already spreading as to the power of Facebook to throw other major websites offline.
Twitter has seen a surge in comments - often humourous - but conveying the underlying concern regarding Facebook’s reach.
“D'oh! [email protected]: Facebook just became the world's most pervasive malware,” tweeted one user.
“FACEBOOK KILLS INTERNET [Preliminary analysis],” read another Tweet.
“and just like that, Zuckerberg’s zombie-computer army takes over the world. Facebook Virus: Day Zero,” another added.