Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms were hit by a massive outage Monday, impacting potentially tens of millions of users as the social media giant faces fallout over its effect on teens and misinformation.
Tracker Downdetector was showing outages in heavily populated areas like Washington and Paris, with problems being reported from around 1545 GMT.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said on Twitter.
Users trying to access Facebook in affected areas were greeted with the message: “Something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”
The outage comes a day after a whistleblower went on US television to reveal her identity after she leaked a trove of documents to authorities alleging the company knew its products were fueling hate and harming children’s mental health.
Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist from Iowa, has worked for companies including Google and Pinterest — but said in an interview with CBS news show “60 Minutes” that Facebook was “substantially worse” than anything she had seen before.
The world’s largest social media platform has been embroiled in a firestorm brought about by Haugen, with US lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal raising sharp criticism of the network.
“Substantial evidence suggests that experiences on Instagram and Facebook make body dissatisfaction worse,” he said, adding the finding was not a disgruntled worker’s complaint but company research.
The enterprise has been under relentless pressure to guard against being a platform where misinformation, hate and child-harming content can spread.
Legislators have struggled to pass new rules that would update online protections in decades-old laws crafted long before social media even existed.