Business & Economy

Facebook services, apps down for millions worldwide; share price plunges

San Francisco, Oct 4 (EFE).- Facebook’s services and applications (Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) on Monday went down in various parts of the world, the Downdetector website said.

More than 10 million users worldwide had reported the problems they were having to that online platform as of 5 pm EDT.

In the case of popular instant messaging service WhatsApp, users said that when trying to send their messages the word “connecting” and a clock icon appeared but the content did not reach its intended destination.

“Sincere apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now,” the company’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, said on his Twitter account. “We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”

Although it is relatively common for Internet platforms to experience temporary service interruptions (normally of less than two hours), Facebook’s apps began experiencing problems at 11.44 am EDT and the problem was ongoing shortly after 6 pm.

The Downdetector site said at around 5.05 pm EDT that the Facebook outage was continuing and “has become the largest outage we’ve ever seen on Downdetector with over 10.6 million problem reports from all over the globe.”

The outage come at a time when the company is under major public scrutiny following the publication of a series of articles by The Wall Street Journal based on a review of internal documents.

One WSJ article said Facebook researchers have found through years of studies that the Instagram photo- and video-sharing social networking service is harmful to many young users, especially teenage girls.

“But in public, Facebook has consistently played down the app’s negative effects on teens, and hasn’t made its research public or available to academics or lawmakers who have asked for it,” the article said.

In an interview of the television program “60 Minutes,” the whistleblower who leaked the large cache of documents to the Journal, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, said that during her time at the company she became alarmed at the decisions that were made.

“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen said.

Facebook’s shares closed down 4.9 percent on Monday due to the scandal and the service outage, causing co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth to fall by $5.9 billion in a single day, US financial magazine Forbes said. EFE


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