Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp down second time in 2021

Three famous social media platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook – stopped functioning on Monday.

The three apps are owned by Facebook, an American company offering online social networking services, and are run on shared infrastructure.

All three apps stopped working shortly before 5.00 p.m. Nigerian time.

Other products related to the apps, such as Facebook Workplace, were also observed to have stopped working.

Users of Facebook and Instagram applications could not view posts on refresh, while WhatsApp messages could not be sent or received.

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, who later bought WhatsApp and Instagram from the former owners.

WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an American freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service application. It allows users to share text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, among other contents.

Instagram allows users to create and share photos, stories, and videos with their friends and followers.

Many users took to Twitter, a microblogging and social networking platform, to share their experiences.

Nigerians lament, “Here we go again. Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook are down.”

The cause of the glitch was yet to be ascertained as of press time.

As of the time of this report. Facebook has not communicated on the possible cause of the outage, but cyber security experts noted they had found signs that online routes that lead people to the social giant were disrupted.

“Facebook and related properties disappeared from the Internet in a flurry of BGP updates,” tweeted John Graham-Cumming, the chief technology officer at web company Cloudflare.

He added that minutes before the services went offline “we saw a large number of … changes (mostly route withdrawals)”.

The outage comes a day after a whistleblower went on US television to reveal her identity after she leaked a trove of documents alleging the social media giant knew its products were fueling hate and harming children’s mental health.

Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist from Iowa, has worked for companies including Google and Pinterest — but said in an interview with CBS news show “60 Minutes” that Facebook was “substantially worse” than anything she had seen before.

The world’s largest social media platform has been embroiled in a firestorm brought about by Haugen, with US lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal detailing how Facebook knew its products, including Instagram, were harming young girls, especially around body image.

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