On Monday, Facebook and its family of mobile apps went offline for users across the globe for nearly six hours — one of the longest and worst outages the social media giant has faced since 2019 when the platform went offline for more than 24 hours.
The outage occurred around noon Eastern time and it came a day after Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, came forward and accused Facebook of prioritizing its profits over cracking down on hate speech and misinformation.
After Haugen’s interview aired on 60 Minutes, Facebook’s shares slipped 5.3 percent in the afternoon on Monday.
The outage broke nearly all of Facebook’s internal systems that enable its employees to communicate and work, making it hard to diagnose and resolve the issue. Additionally, the outage prevented Facebook users from scrolling and engaging with content, impacting small businesses and creators who rely on the company’s advertising services for their income. According to eMarketer, Facebook’s U.S. digital advertising is more than $48 billion annually.
Andy Stone, a policy communications manager at Facebook, took it Twitter and said, “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.”
Mike Schroepfer, who will step down from his post as the chief technology officer next year, also tweeted that the company was experiencing networking issues and teams were working as fast as possible to debug and restore the network.
Facebook said no user data was compromised across its platforms.
Facebook later revealed that its engineers were able to determine that the problem originated from a networking issue that interrupted communications between its data centers, resulting in outages on all three platforms – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.