Facebook, Instagram, Related Apps Suffer Worldwide Outage

By: Amelia Rose Zimlich | Managing Editor | arz1722@jagmail.southalabama.edu

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan via Pexels.com

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus experienced worldwide outages on Oct. 4 that lasted 7 hours, the longest outage since 2008.

The platforms shut down shortly before noon EST, showing server errors when users tried to access them. In 2008, Facebook crashed for about 24 hours due to a bug. At the time, the social media platform had about 80 million users. Today, it has 3 billion, according to CNBC.

The outage occurred the day after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared on 60 Minutes. Haugen says Facebook buried their own research that showed Instagram to be harmful to the mental health of users, specifically, teenage girls. She also tells about Facebook’s attempts to curb hate speech, violence and misinformation. She is set the testify in front of Congress on Oct. 12.

“When we live in an information environment that is full of angry, hateful, polarizing content, it erodes our civic trust, it erodes our faith in each other, it erodes our ability to want to care for each other,” said Haugen. “The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.”

Facebook-owned apps came back online around 5:30 p.m. Amid the outage, Facebook shares dropped nearly 5%, according to Cnet, dropping Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth about $7 billion.

“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry. We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us,” Facebook posted on Twitter at 5:33 p.m.

Among the most prominent social media platforms, Twitter was the only one that remained active during the outage, with the official Twitter account tweeting “hello, literally everyone” shortly after the Facebook-owned apps became inaccessible.

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