The week got off to a rocky start for some of the world’s biggest tech giants as three of the world’s largest social media platforms experienced massive global outages, leaving millions of users unable to access many of their accounts’ features.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp websites and smartphone apps first experienced significant outages around noon Eastern time. Soon after, #facebookoutage, #instagramdown and other similar hashtags started trending on Twitter. Facebook employees also reportedly had trouble accessing their workspaces at the back of the company.
Representatives of the companies have not publicly stated what caused the outages, although Facebook acknowledged them in a Tweet around 1 p.m. EST: “We are aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We are working to get things back to normal as soon as possible and we apologize for the inconvenience.”
A few hours later, they retweeted a tweet from Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer posting the following acknowledgment: “*Sincere* apologies to everyone currently affected by Facebook-powered service outages. We are experiencing network issues and teams are working as fast as possible to find errors and fix them as quickly as possible.”
The outages come a day after Facebook, a whistleblower, accused Facebook of prioritizing profit over curbing hate speech and misinformation.
According to Reuters, shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, opened lower after the whistleblower report and fell further to trade at 5.3% in midday trading on Monday. They were heading for their worst day in nearly a year, amid a wider sell-off in tech stocks. In addition, earlier today, Facebook also requested that a federal judge reconsider an antitrust complaint filed against them by the Federal Trade Commission.
As of 5:45 p.m. EST, Reuters reported that some features had been restored for some accounts.