• Autumn Landon

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp All Down: What Happened?

Yesterday, October 5th, all Facebook apps; Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus, began displaying error messages around noon est.. Within just a few minutes, Facebook and its affiliates were almost completely inaccessible. The shutdown lasted over five whole hours, before some apps slowly came back online, though the company cautioned the services would "take time to stabilize."

More than 3.5 billion people around the world use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, spread news and information, and expand their businesses through advertising.

Facebook is also commonly used to sign in to many other apps and services, so unfortunately many people were not able to log into other websites, sign into their smart TVs, thermostats and other internet-connected devices.

But what caused the apps to go down?

At a Senate hearing on Sept. 30, Sen. Blumenthal pressed the global head of safety for Facebook, Antigone Davis, for Instagram's potential negative impact on children, particularly young girls.

On Sunday, "60 Minutes" aired a segment in which Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen claimed the company is aware of how its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that platform has tried to hide that evidence, but Facebook has pushed back on those accusations.