Published: October 5, 2021
On Monday, Facebook’s shares dropped nearly 5% following its worst service outage in over 13 years. Coincidentally, it took place a day after “60 Minutes” released an interview with a whistleblower who accused the company of betraying democracy.
The same day, the Nasdaq Composite, a tech-heavy stock market index, fell about 2%. Again, the decline was the most severe among the social media stocks, with Snap, Pinterest, and Twitter dropping more than 5%.
Facebook’s main app and its WhatsApp and Instagram services went down shortly before noon ET. As the market closed, they were still unavailable.
In a tweet, the company said it knew about problems accessing its products and apps. Facebook also stated that it was working to restore the service as soon as possible, apologizing for any inconvenience.
It is Facebook’s worst outage since 2008, when a bug made the company’s services go offline for about 24 hours, affecting almost 80 million users. Since then, the company has managed to acquire a user base of 3 billion people.
Preceding Monday’s outage, Facebook had a challenging week, which only got worse on Sunday night. Namely, Frances Haugen revealed herself as the whistleblower. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Haugen revealed that she had provided key internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal. The data was then used in a series of the Journal’s recent publications titled “The Facebook Files.”
Haugen worked as a product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation division. She departed in May after copying many internal files. According to the former Facebook product manager, the company prioritizes its profits over public security, endangering people’s lives.
Facebook shares dropped 4.9% to $326.23. That said, the stock is still up 19% this year.
Given that Facebook is used by nearly 36% of the world’s population, its absence was felt by many individuals and businesses alike.