Several of the major social networks have gone down earlier today. According to Downdetector, a web activity, and traffic monitoring site, neither mobile nor web versions have started functioning since. The result—Twitter is the only functioning major social network and it’s burning with questions, memes, and pieces of news here and there.
Facebook, the company that owns all three problematic apps, has come forward with an acknowledgment of the issue and a promise to take care of it soon. They have also apologized to their users and asked for some patience. However, they have not stated what the source of the issue may be.
Social networks have gone down before, it’s not an unusual occurrence. What has rarely happened, though, is to have two major networks, both owned by the same company, go down simultaneously. Even the company’s internal network for employee communication has gone down simultaneously with Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Although it’s Monday, Facebook is standing.
Zuckerberg’s team has worked for some time now on integrating the infrastructure of these apps which may have made them as a group an easier target for cyber attacks.
A couple of anonymous Facebook security employees have said they doubt a hackers’ attack could cause this sort of issue. They explained that the technology on which these apps were built is still different enough so that one attack couldn’t cause the fall of all services.
The CTO of Cloudflare, John Graham-Cumming, is on the same page with these Facebook employees. He explained on Twitter that it’s more likely that Facebook, as a company, is experiencing issues with servers. In other words, they aren’t performing their purpose of connecting people to their accounts.
One is for sure—social media users don’t recall this long an interruption of both Facebook and Instagram services.
This outage comes shortly after a whistleblower and a former employee, Ms. Frances Haugen, has filed several complaints against Facebook to the federal laws. In her Sunday “60 Minutes” interview, she questioned the company’s handling of hate speech and misinformation saying it chooses profit over the welfare of its users, especially the young ones.
Haugen worked for Facebook as a data scientist and she’s about to make a statement before the Senate against her former employer. Her hearing will take place this Tuesday in the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee.
The Wall Street Journal has recently featured an article concerning this matter as well. Their text is looking into Facebook’s research regarding the impact Instagram content can have on the mental health of young girls. The major problem is the company’s use of that data, i.e. its negligence.
In other words, Facebook is thought to have been aware of the adverse effect this content may have on young users, especially female ones. Yet the company apparently chose to disregard this research result and keep functioning in a way that was more profitable
The WSJ has allegedly gathered the information for this article from none other than Haugen.