A Very Bad Time for Facebook

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

First, it was the comprehensive investigation by the Wall Street Journal for the inside corruption at the social media giant Facebook. Then, after that was exposed, the same whistleblower, Frances Haugen, made a shocking appearance on 60 Minutes and explained further that Facebook was putting profits before public safety. Haugen is an algorithms expert, an engineer, and a Master’s Degree holder from Harvard and has worked at Facebook for many years. She disclosed tens of thousands of documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to the Wall Street Journal in hopes of some legislative corrections, consequences, and some major fixes within the social media organization. Facebook currently has 1.908 billion daily active users (DAUs) on average and those users communicate for thousands of different reasons across the globe including family connections, transferring money, and well even some more nefarious reasons like human trafficking.

Facebook whistleblower pushed data-mining boundaries in ...

So, could it be that the major outage across all Facebook platforms including Instagram and WhatsApp are connected to that? What is even more interesting is the network is also down for the third party developers that are contracted by Facebook. Could Jack Dorsey at Twitter be gloating? Perhaps, but take caution, Mr. Jack.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri likened a widespread outage affecting all Facebook-owned apps to a “snow day” in a recent tweet.

The tweet was written in response to one user’s post saying, “Instagram should stay offline forever.” Mosseri replied, “Them fighting words… but it does feel like a snow day.”

Sources told the New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac that “no one can do any work” at Facebook, which has caused internal declarations of a “snow day.”

Mac tweeted “or maybe it’s hydrofoil day” in response, referencing a viral video showing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg riding a hydrofoil surfboard on the Fourth of July.

Social-media managers outside Facebook have also called Monday a social-media “snow day” on Twitter, while apologizing for not being able to reach clients and customers.

Workplace, a communications tool owned by Facebook and used by 7 million paid subscribers, is also down. During a similar Facebook outage two years ago, small businesses lost thousands of dollars in revenue, according to a report by The Verge.

Downdetector has received more than 86,000 user reports of Facebook outages since 11:25 a.m. ET on Monday, according to its website. Of these issues, 79% were related to Facebook’s website, 12% were related to server connections, and 9% were related to the app.

Facebook said in a tweet, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Companies that maintain Facebook sign-ins for their customers such as Airbnb or Strava are suffering during the outage as well.

TechRadar reports in part:

The issue may affect other Facebook products, too: some users have also reported issues with the company’s Oculus virtual reality gaming services. Noted Facebook and Twitter data miner Jane Manchun Wong warned users via tweet not to restart their Oculus devices during the outage lest they lose their games.

And the outage might have affected Facebook’s real-world infrastructure as well: according to a tweet by New York Times reporter Sheera Frenkel, a Facebook employee reportedly can’t even enter company buildings due to malfunctioning badges.

Facebook outages: what’s going on?

None of the Facebook, Whatsapp or Instagram accounts have explained what originally caused the outage, leading to speculation and analysis. At this point, most agree that this isn’t a hack or directed attack on Facebook’s infrastructure – instead, evidence shows the company’s network paths to the outside web just disappeared without explanation.


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