SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook and some of its apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, appeared to stop working Monday for many users, who turned to Twitter and other social media platforms to lament the outage.
The social network and its applications began displaying error messages before noon ET, users reported. The company’s entire family of apps – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger – showed reports of outages, according to the site. downdetector.com, which monitors web traffic and site activity.
It was not clear what was causing the error messages. Disruptions are not uncommon for applications, but it is rare for so many interconnected applications to go down at the same time at the world’s largest social media company.
Andy Stone, Facebook spokesperson, posted on Twitter, “We are aware that some people have problems accessing our applications and products. We are working to get everything back to normal as soon as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Facebook has already been dealing with a lot of scrutiny. The company has come under fire from a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who amassed thousands of internal investigation pages and has since distributed them to the media, lawmakers and regulators. The documents revealed that Facebook knew of a lot of damage its services were causing.
Ms. Haugen, who revealed her identity online Sunday and on “60 Minutes,” is scheduled to testify in Congress Tuesday about Facebook’s impact on young users.
This is a developing story and will be updated.