Behind the scenes

Facebook down: a ‘very, very bad day’ at the office for Mark Zuckerberg

Social media giant’s share price is hit by global service outage and whistleblower allegations

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram users were left in social media limbo last night after a global service outage saw the platforms go offline for almost six hours. Back up and running this morning, Facebook engineers revealed that the root cause of the outage was a “faulty configuration change”.   

The services were down from about 4pm (BST) until around 10pm and according to Downdetector there were more than 10.6m problem reports around the world. However, the “real number affected is much higher”, the BBC said, as more than 3.5bn people use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

In a post on his personal account, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the disruption and said: “I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”

Going dark 

Facebook is not having a good time right now, The Guardian said. Last week the company paused its plan to launch Instagram for kids and on Sunday former civic integrity product manager Frances Haugen went public with “explosive allegations” that Facebook had “prioritised growth and profit over public safety”. She told the 60 Minutes show on CBS News: “The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.”  

With services “going dark” plus the whistleblower revelations, it was a “very, very bad day” for Facebook, MarketWatch reported. Shares fell sharply yesterday and it was the “worst session performance for the company in nearly a year with the share price falling 4.9%” - the worst decline since the 5% drop recorded on 9 November 2020, the Independent said. 

The fall in share price wiped $47bn (£34.5bn) off Facebook’s market value and for Zuckerberg his personal fortune declined by $5.9bn (£4.4bn) to a “mere” $117bn (£85.9bn) in total, Forbes reported. His “top lieutenant” Sheryl Sandberg also saw her wealth fall to $1.9bn (£1.39bn).

‘Hello literally everyone’

While it may have been a bad day for Facebook, other social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok reported higher-than-normal usage, Sky News said. This led to some issues in users accessing Twitter posts and direct messages, but also saw many memes poking fun at the Facebook outage. 

As the world flocked to other sites to get their social media fix, Twitter wrote: “hello literally everyone”. “Twitter was the ultimate destination for tongue-in-cheek posts as people around the world tried to avert boredom,” said Sky News’s Connor Sephton.

Recommended

Who’s to blame for UK’s looming Christmas crisis?
A man dressed as Santa Claus walks through Manchester city centre
Today’s big question

Who’s to blame for UK’s looming Christmas crisis?

Facebook: is this its Big Tobacco moment?
Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testifies in front of Congress
In Focus

Facebook: is this its Big Tobacco moment?

Welcome to the metaverse 
Horizon Workrooms: the office of the future?
In Depth

Welcome to the metaverse 

The interest rate debate
Clouds over the City: is there trouble ahead?
Why we’re talking about . . .

The interest rate debate

Popular articles

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself
Turkish police
Tall Tales

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself

The Week Footer Banner