Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram suffer worldwide outage

Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms were down in parts of the world today.

The company said it was “aware that some people are having trouble accessing Facebook app” and it was working on restoring access.

The company did not say what might be causing the outage, which began around 11:45am ET Monday (4.45am NZT today).

It is normal for websites and apps to suffer outages, though one on a global scale is rare. Users reported being unable to access Facebook in California, New York, Europe and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, users congratulated themselves for their choice of app.

The outages come a week after major outages shut down workplace messaging tool Slack and Kiwi accounting software Xero.

Mobile communications worldwide have also been hit by an outage today after US companies AT & T, Verizon and T-Mobile all suffered problems, locking out millions of users.

Facebook is going through a major crisis after the whistleblower who was the source of The Wall Street Journal’s series of stories exposing the company’s awareness of internal research into the negative effects of its products and decisions went public on 60 Minutes in the US on Sunday.

Frances Haugen was identified in a 60 Minutes interview as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that the company’s own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation, leads to increased polarisation and that Instagram, specifically, can harm teenage girls’ mental health.

The Journal’s stories, called The Facebook Files, painted a picture of a company focused on growth and its own interests instead of the public good. Facebook has tried to play down the research. Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of policy and public affairs, wrote to Facebook employees in a memo on Friday that “social media has had a big impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often a place where much of this debate plays out.”

– Associated Press, additional reporting NZ Herald

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