Users of Facebook and its related services, Instagram and Whatsapp, reported global outages of the social media platforms on Monday.
The services went down shortly before 7 p.m. in Kenya. South Africans and Egyptians said they were unable to access Facebook, even as users from India, Canada, the United States and Vietnam confirmed that they too were affected.
The Down Detector website had more than 22,500 reports of interrupted Whatsapp service, with reports from Bosnia, Brazil and Dubai. More than 76,000 reports of Instagram outages were logged on the site at the same time.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” said Facebook. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The outage comes after a new report Sunday in the United States, detailing yet again how Facebook was more concerned about maximizing its profits than dealing with divisive content that, at times, has stoked violent political clashes in several countries. Africans have not been immune to the false claims in these ideological postings.
Whistleblower Frances Haugen, who worked in Facebook’s Civics Integrity department, appeared on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday night to discuss her experiences there. She quite the company in May and took internal research with her to support claims that the company did not do enough to limit disinformation on a range of issues, including electoral politics.
Haugen is expected to testify before the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, after filing complaints last month.
“Facebook has demonstrated they cannot act independently. Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety. It is subsidizing, it is paying for its profits with our safety,” Haugen told 60 Minutes.
“I’m hoping that this will have had a big enough impact on the world that they get the fortitude and the motivation to actually go put those regulations into place. That’s my hope.”
Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director of policy communications, said the company is doing all it can to curb hate speech, misinformation and “fake news” conspiracy theories.
“To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true,” she said.