Facebook ‘whistleblower’ to testify in front of US Senate after international outage

Twitter reacts to Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp outages

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On Monday, hundreds of millions of users experienced issues with the social networking giant’s site as well as the Messenger app. Independent outage monitor recorded a huge spike in both Facebook down and Messenger down reports.

Down Detector UK recorded a peak of more than 50,000 Facebook down reports.

While the independent outage monitor also registered a peak of more than 8,000 Messenger down reports.

Now, following the international outage, a whistleblower is to testify in front of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security Subcommittee.

The hearing is on ‘Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower’ with testimony from former Facebook official Frances Haugen.

Mr Haugen recently alleged the company had disabled safeguards designed to prevent misinformation, dissolved a unit on civic integrity.

He also claimed the social media giant changed the algorithms that govern what appears on users’ news feeds in a way that “contributed to more divisiveness and ill will”.

The Facebook outage began just before 5pm UK time – and over five hours later is still rumbling on.

Besides the main Facebook service, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram are all experiencing service issues.

According to Down Detector it was the biggest outage the monitoring service has ever recorded – with millions of problems recorded in total.

At around 10pm UK time the @downdetector Twitter posted: “The Facebook outage continues and has become the largest outage we’ve ever seen on Downdetector with over 10.6 million problem reports from all over the globe.”

As the Facebook service issues hit, users flocked to Twitter to report the problems they were facing.

Down Detector UK recorded a peak of more than 70,000 WhatsApp down reports with a high of more than 30,000 Instagram down reports.

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The official Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger Twitter accounts all tweeted about the outages.

The social accounts for these hugely popular apps acknowledged the issues users are experiencing and said a fix is in the works.

The Facebook Twitter account 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.”

While the @WhatsApp account added: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment.

“We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible.

“Thanks for your patience!”

The Instagram Comms Twitter posted: “Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it! #instagramdown”.

And the Messenger Twitter wrote: “Mercury in retrograde got the best of us.

“We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and apologize for the inconvenience. #MessengerDown’.”

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