Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and numerous other social media sites all went offline at around 4pm in the UK this afternoon.
Currently, Facebook cannot be open on any internet browser and will not load on a smartphone or tablet. Instagram is suffering from the same problem. As well as this, messages cannot be sent on Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp, nor can the apps be properly accessed.
Many disgruntled Facebook users have taken to Twitter to voice their discontent, which hasn’t been affected by the mass outage. Somewhat ironically, this exodus also included Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone, who tweeted to reassure users that the company is “working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Whatsapp’s twitter account released a similar statement, as did Instagram’s. The reason for such a large-scale blackout is currently unknown, and as of writing the sites in question all remain offline.
The virtual reality software, Oculus VR, has also been knocked offline today.
This outage comes on a day when Facebook had already come under scrutiny, as a scathing interview with a whistleblower was published this morning. The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, made a number of disparaging claims against Facebook.
In perhaps the most damning accusation, Haugen claimed that the company withheld research that indicates Instagram can have adverse effects on the mental health of young people. Facebook owns Instagram, having acquired the company in 2012.
More to follow.