Technology

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp down for users across US

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all down Monday for millions of users across the U.S., according to outage site Down Detector.

Both the mobile and web browser editions of the apps were not working as of 11:42 a.m. ET, the site reported.

“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,” a Facebook company spokesperson told ABC News.

The Instagram and Facebook outages come shortly after a whistleblower came forward and claimed to CBS News that the company could do more to protect against hate speech and misinformation but prioritizes profits over its users.

Following the Sunday “60 Minutes” interview with the whistleblower, identified as Frances Haugen, a data scientist, the company put out a statement defending itself.

“We’ve invested heavily in people and technology to keep our platform safe, and have made fighting misinformation and providing authoritative information a priority,” the company said in a statement. “If any research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments, and society would have solved them a long time ago.”

After the whistleblower’s identity was made public, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., announced the Senate will hold a hearing in the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee Tuesday to hear from Haugen about Facebook and Instagram’s impacts on young users.

Facebook’s safety head was questioned by lawmakers last Thursday over what the company knew about the potential for Instagram to be harmful to young users’ mental health.

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security convened the hearing in the wake of a Wall Street Journal investigation citing Facebook’s own internal research, allegedly leaked by a whistleblower, that found Instagram adversely impacted mental health issues in teens, especially girls.

“We’re here today because Facebook has shown us once again that it is incapable of holding itself accountable,” Blumenthal said in his opening remarks last week.

Facebook defended itself against the bipartisan scrutiny at the hearing.

“We understand that recent reporting has raised a lot of questions about our internal research, including research we do to better understand young people’s experiences on Instagram,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, stated in written testimony. “We strongly disagree with how this reporting characterized our work, so we want to be clear about what that research shows, and what it does not show.”

The new, upcoming committee hearing, titled “Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower,” is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Source:

abcnews.go.com

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