As Facebook faces its latest public relations crisis, the platform and its apps Instagram and WhatsApp are experiencing widespread outages.
Users of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Monday began reporting outages, with many receiving an error message on Facebook that read, "Sorry, something went wrong." Downdetector.com showed spikes in outage reports for all three platforms, which also was affecting Facebook Messenger. The New York Times noted that it's unusual for these major platforms to all go down simultaneously.
Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, took to Twitter to provide an update, writing, "We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience." An internal Facebook memo said that the outage "appears to be a DNS issue that is impacting both internal and external access to our tools and apps," Puck's Dylan Byers reported.
This came following a series of bombshell reports on Facebook from The Wall Street Journal, including one alleging the company knows Instagram is toxic for teen girls. On Sunday, a whistleblower, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, came forward on 60 Minutes, alleging the company has "realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they'll click on less ads, they'll make less money." Amid this controversy, Stone was met with some brutal replies to his update that Facebook was working to fix the outages, CNN's Brian Stelter noted. Writer Danny Chun tweeted at Stone, "Don't bother! Your product hurts the world."