Facebook appears to have stopped working for some people.

People visiting the website are unable to see it, apparently because of a technical problem.

The website Down Detector reported that most people were seeing a “total blackout” on the site, meaning that it wouldn’t load.

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But it appears that forcing the computer to reload the page can bring the site back to life. That’s done by holding down shift and then refreshing the page.

Clearing the cache might help avoid the problems recurring. In Chrome that’s done by clicking the three dots in the corner, heading to “more tools”, pressing “clear browsing data” and then choosing to remove the cache. In Safari, click the Preferences tab, head to Privacy, and select the option to “remove all browsing data”.

The same problem appears to be hitting people trying to get on Facebook on their mobiles.

The problems are focused in the UK and northern Europe, according to Down Detector’s map. But that might simply be because of timezones, which mean that more people are online in Europe than elsewhere.

Facebook rarely goes down, and the company’s efforts to avoid it doing so was even joked about in the film ‘The Social Network’. But the huge scale of the site – which has more than two billion users – means that any problems can have major consequences for people around the world.

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