Billions of Facebook users were impacted on Monday as the social media platform went offline for approximately seven hours.
The outage came after the company has been fighting accusations made by a former employee on the company putting profits over safety.
Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower revealed her identity on Sunday in an interview with “60-Minutes”. Frances who quit the company in May worked at Facebook for nearly two years as a Product Manager.
The Former employee revealed tens of thousands of documents last month under the alias ‘Sean’ which included revelations that the tech company knew Instagram was worsening body image issues among teenager and that it had a two-tier justice system — these revelations have spurred criticism from lawmakers, regulators and the public.
Ms. Haugen has also filed a whistle-blower complaint accusing Facebook of misleading investors with public statements that did not match its internal actions.
Her accusations confirmed many long-held fears and criticisms about the platform. However, as the senate was preparing for Ms. Haugen’s testimony that was set for Tuesday, Facebook went offline in an outage that hit users across its platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
“Billions of users have been impacted by the services being entirely offline today,” tracker Downdetector wrote on its website.
Facebook apologized in a tweet on Monday, just as the apps started to go back online.
“We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now,” the company added.
Facebooks vice president of infrastructure Santosh Janardhan blamed the outage on configuration changes it made to routers that coordinate network traffic between its data centers.
“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
In addition to the disruption to people, businesses and others that rely on the company’s tools, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a financial hit.
His fortune plunged by nearly $7billion.