Several users across the globe claimed that WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook were down on Monday evening. Around 9 PM IST, users took to Twitter to report that the prominent social networking and communication sites were unreachable.

What initially looked like a minor technical issue, brought about concerns after the outage went on for 6 long hours, longest ever recorded after the 2.5 hour outage on March 13, 2019.

The Facebook Whistleblower

The technical difficulty came about after an ex-employee of Facebook, Frances Haugen, revealed herself and inside information from Facebook in The 60 Minutes Interview, and that she had filed a complaint with the Federal Law Enforcement.

The whistleblower filed the complaint a month ago, anonymously. The complaint says that Facebook’s own research shows that it amplifies hate, misinformation and political unrest and the company still chooses to conceal these facts from the public.

One of her complaints alleged that Facebook’s Instagram harms teenage girls. What makes her complaints unprecedented is the data that she could manage to get from Facebook, before she quit her job in May 2021.

Documents copied by her first appeared in the Wall Street Journal but she decided to finally make the big revelation to the public, a day after which people believe that Facebook tried to ‘cleanse’ its systems to avoid any legal complication.

Who is a Whistleblower?

Contrary to popular belief, whistleblowers are not just some conspiracy theorists but people who aim to bring about change by revealing serious wrong doings and putting it out in the open for people to know what goes on inside.

The reason why whistleblowers approach the press first is for all information to be made public before evidences can be tampered with.

Watch this video for the points made by former Facebook employee Fances Haugen.

Violation of SEC laws

In a CNN interview, Lisa Banks, Employment & Whistleblower Attorney, said that the claims Facebook had been making publicly, to Congress, to regulators and to the public, were false and misleading to investors, which can be a violation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws and regulations.

Facebook’s reaction

In response to Frances Haugen’s allegations, Director of Policy Communications at Facebook, Lena Pietsch said, “Every day our teams have to balance protecting the right of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place.”

“We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true,” Pietsch added.

Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy, Facebook, in a CNBCTV interview, said that the Facebook news feed algorithm change referenced by Haugen were from 2018 which was designed to derive meaningful interaction which research suggested would be good for people.

“We’ve continued to watch how the news feed experience is for people and we’ve continued to make refinements over time. So if you look, we’ve had to publish our demotions, meaning the types of content we reduced distribution of in the news feed and if you look at those demotions, you’ll see that we actively work to reduce the visibility of engagement bait, click bait, sensationalist content,” said the VP.

Nearly $50bn was wiped off Facebook’s value after its social media platforms went down due to a “faulty configuration change”. Shares in the tech giant fell 5%, which also hit Instagram and WhatsApp.

How YouTubers reacted to Whistleblower’s Interview and 6 hour outage

Reacting to Haugen’s video, numerous YouTubers and netizens took to various social media platforms, to make their point.

Twitter reactions to the Whistleblower theory

Here’s how Twitterati reacted to the Whistleblower conspiracy and the longest Facebook outage ever reported since the inception of the social media mammoth.

Also read: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram not working? Here’s why

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