HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you were trying to scroll through Facebook and Instagram on Monday, you probably noticed your feed wasn’t refreshing. Those social media platforms, as well as WhatsApp, experienced a worldwide outage for several hours. As of Monday evening, they were starting to come back online.
“I was actually sitting with one of my friends and I went to go show her something,” recounted Kelsey Darcy, a student at Quinnipiac University. “I was like, ‘Instagram is down! I can’t even show this to you right now!'”
In a tweet, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer apologized to those impacted and said they’re experiencing network issues. He cautioned it could take time before services are fully back.
“Catastrophic things can happen because we’ve become so dependent on these platforms,” explained Rich Hanley, associate professor of Journalism at Quinnipiac University.
Hanley broke down the magnitude of this outage to News 8: “It’s critical infrastructure for a lot of small businesses as well, so there’s a lot of people hurt when social media companies the size of Facebook cannot be reached.”
“The WhatsApp communication system is critical for global communications, so when that goes down, people have to find alternate means to communicate.”
This outage comes shortly after a whistleblower came forward, claiming the company could be doing more to protect against hate speech and misinformation. On Tuesday, she’ll testify before a Senate subcommittee in a hearing focused on the company’s impact on younger users.
“I’m hoping maybe the example of this courageous, compelling, and credible whistleblower will help elicit more whistleblowers from Facebook and other big tech companies,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Facebook is asking for continued patience as they work to fix the problem.