Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users are facing strange technical issues today.
‘Where are my memes and updates today?’
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users worldwide have been reporting outages all morning. The message displayed, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it, and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can” on Facebook. And on Instagram, a “5xx Server Error” or “Couldn’t refresh feed” message popped up, leaving its users stranded and confused as to why the social media services were down.
The outrage to the outage comes amidst the leak of information from a Facebook whistleblower who was revealed on last night’s episode of CBS 60 Minutes. There was a recent incident of an information leak to the Wall Street Journal named the “Facebook Files”, which accused the social media company of hiding its “non-efforts” to stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation.
The 60 Minutes episode brought in former Facebook employee and ex-product manager at Facebook, Frances Haugen, who came out as the mysterious whistleblower to the Wall Street Journal with the Facebook Files. Haugen stated, “The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”
The social media goliath is responding to Haugen’s statements as “misleading.” A spokesperson from the social media company released a statement that boiled down to their response as this, “…We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
Haugen has plans to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Hearing on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. The hearing is titled “Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower”. The focus of the hearing is expected to be Haugen explaining the lack of actions Facebook is doing to stop its users from spreading hate speech and that Facebook actually encourages hate speech in order to get more user engagement. Basically, Haugen will be explaining how Facebook doesn’t hold regard to public safety and doesn’t create better security from children to access sensitive content on its social media platforms.
“…I’m hoping that this will have had a big enough impact on the world that they get the fortitude and the motivation to actually go put those regulations into place. That’s my hope,” Haugen said in regard to the impact of Tuesday’s impending hearing. More information should be given with Tuesday’s hearing.
The hearing will be available on livestream on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at 10 AM EST.