Conspiracy theory says Facebook 'sparked its OWN mass outage to draw attention away from whistleblower's claims'
A WILD conspiracy theory is suggesting that Facebook "sparked its own mass outage to draw attention away from the company's whistleblower's claims."
Social media users took to Twitter amid Monday's global outage which began around 11.40am ET and left Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp not working for approximately six hours.
"Damage control ahead of Frances Hauge’s whistleblower testimony before Congress tomorrow?" one Twitter user wrote.
Another said: "Interesting that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all down on the day Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, testifies before Congress…"
A third person tweeted: "Facebook and Instagram are both down worldwide one day after a damning '60 Minutes' segment that featured former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen taking the company's awfulness to task."
The conspiracy theory swirled just one day after Facebook's whistleblower, Frances Haugen, went public on Sunday and accused the social media platform of continuously prioritizing profit instead of combatting hate speech and misinformation.
As the suspicions likened Haugen to the shutdown spread, Facebook Chief's Technology Officer offered his "sincere apologies" to all who were affected by the outages.
"We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible," he tweeted hours before the misfortuned apps slowly started working again.
Regarding the internal issues, Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted that it "feels like a snow day."
Meanwhile, others suspected Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to have been hacked.
One person shared a spoof ad on placing the domain up for sale for a relatively paltry $8billion with the words "inquiry now and Facebook could be yours."
Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for Kentik Inc, a network monitoring and intelligence company, said: "This is epic. The last major internet outage, which knocked many of the world's top websites offline in June, lasted less than an hour.
"The stricken content-delivery company in that case, Fastly, blamed it on a software bug triggered by a customer who changed a setting."
The six-hour-long outage comes one day after Haugen opened up to CBS' 60 Minutes.
Haugen — who worked for Facebook as a product manager on the civic misinformation team — revealed her lawyers filed numerous complaints with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
She admitted to leaking internal Facebook documents to The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, said her lawyers files at least eight complaints.
One of the internal Facebook research documents leaked by Haugen states: "We have evidence from a variety of sources that hate speech, divisive political speech, and misinformation on Facebook and the family of apps are affecting societies around the world.”
Haugen told 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley: "It’s paying for its profits with our safety."
When her civic integrity group was dissolved in 2021 she left the company, claiming that she didn't “trust that they’re willing to invest what actually needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.”
“There was conflict… between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen explained to Pelley, “and Facebook chose over and over again to optimize for its own interests — like making more money.”
Haugen is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate committee on October 5.
In response to Haugen's claims, Facebook spokesperson Lena Pietsch said in a statement: "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."
Facebook is currently being investigated on Capitol Hill following the release of Haugen's documents.
After the WSJ's reports, allegations were also made that Instagram specifically over-sexualizes girls which weigh on the mental health of the app's users.
“What girls often see on social media are girls with slimmer waists, bigger butts and hips, and it can lead them to have body image issues,” Shevon Jones, a licensed clinical social worker based in Atlanta, told the WSJ. “It’s a very critical time and they are trying to figure out themselves and everything around them.”
Earlier this year, the app had also been accused of fueling a 70 percent rise in child grooming.
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