Social Media Shutdown

Social Media Shutdown

Austin Sousa, Senior Entertainment Reporter

Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all faced major outages Monday morning. All communication services for Facebook as well as Workplace, Facebook’s online software tool, shut down too. The major outages follow a renewed anger from the public after thousands of documents detailing the inadequacies of Facebook’s misinformation control were revealed from whistleblower France Haugen. Haugen also revealed that the civic integrity unit in which she operated was disbanded shortly after the capitol break-in on January 6th, citing that a primary reason for the disbandment was the failure of the team to recognize that the rioters used Facebook for planning prior to the event. The only response so far from Facebook has come in the form of a public letter from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in which he reiterated his care for fighting harmful content, but failed to provide a legitimate retort to Haugen’s mammoth data dump. 

While the timing is uncanny, it is unlikely that this outage had anything to do with Haugen’s allegations. There was no benefit for Facebook from either situation with their stock falling nearly 6 percent on Monday, as well as Zuckerberg losing a reported $7 Billion in net worth from the cataclysmic downturn for Facebook. This hasn’t stopped calls for a deeper investigation into the reason behind the outage, as it was the worst length-wise since 2008. There will undoubtedly be more information uncovered in both the whistleblower case as well as the outage in the coming weeks. Haugen should be preparing for what will most likely be a massive legal case, a situation in which Facebook and Zuckerberg both have power and experience on their side.