What Really Happened With the Facebook Shutdown?


Elizabeth Whitman

About two weeks ago, Facebook and the other platforms they own, like Instagram and WhatsApp, experienced a shut down. Many people were speculating about the reasons behind this. Users were worried that Facebook had been hacked. However, other people were concerned that this outage was related to what “whistleblower” Frances Haugen, a former employee of Facebook, disclosed about the company in a recent interview. She said, “…that the company could do more to protect against hate speech and misinformation but prioritizes profits over its users” (ABC News). This led people to think that Facebook shutdown in order to remove these questionable posts and/or accounts. But, it was later revealed that this was not the case and an update to their system was the cause of the outage.

The shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp lasted between six and seven hours. Besides individuals using these apps for personal entertainment, there were many businesses that were affected by the apps being offline. Some businesses use Facebook more than their own websites in order to operate. They use Facebook and Instagram to advertise and sell their products. This meant that there were about six hours where these businesses could not reach people. In addition, people use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family. When this app went down, they were unreachable for many hours. Now that these apps are back, everyone is happy to be able to connect with family and friends and run their businesses once again.