When a Facebook spokesman on Monday needed to get a message out to the social network’s users, he turned to a competitor’s platform to do it.
hello literally everyone
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 4, 2021
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” tweeted Facebook communications director Andy Stone. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Here’s me hanging out on Twitter with all the cool kids being all like “Ha! Yeah fuck Facebook!” and trying not to think about how 95% of my income comes through Facebook and how completely fucked I’d be if it stays down forever
— Jim (@Jimllpaintit) October 4, 2021
Without Facebook, many—at least temporarily—rediscovered Twitter. Bored social media users spent much of the afternoon getting creative on the one major platform they were still able to use.
should i have not hit the big red facebook button that says system purge? if not, why is it so big and red. shitty UI decision imo
— Tom McKay, the Owner of Ozy (@thetomzone) October 4, 2021
Every single one of Facebook’s apps, including Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and Facebook itself, went dark at around 11:45 a.m. EDT. Outages and technical hiccups are not uncommon for companies that exist on the internet, but for Facebook’s entire brand to disappear in one fell swoop is highly unusual.
Michigan is 13-6-1 against Ohio State in the last 20 games in which Facebook did not exist.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 4, 2021
Facebook employees muddled through the workday using Outlook to access their work emails, but have only been able to use them to communicate with other Facebook employees, according to The Verge. Those who were logged into Google Docs and Zoom before the systems collapsed are reportedly still able to use those tools, but anyone who tries to log in with a Facebook email account is blocked.
I know we're all having fun today, but for real Facebook sucks ass and has ruined the entire world.
— Kyle D. Anderson (@KyleDAnderson) October 4, 2021
The cause of the outage remains unclear. Security experts cited by Reuters believed it was most likely the result of an internal error. Still, an outside hack, they said, was “theoretically possible.”
It looks like everyone is coming to Twitter since Facebook is down.
Now that you're all here, I want to take this opportunity to say: Raise the minimum wage. Defend the right to vote. Protect abortion access.#FacebookDown
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) October 4, 2021
The systemwide crash follows on the heels of a Facebook whistleblower going public on 60 Minutes with allegations that the company intentionally amplifies polarizing and divisive content in pursuit of profit, at the expense of user safety. The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, will testify before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Tuesday, urging them to regulate the social media behemoth the way it did tobacco companies.
Reports are that Facebook employees cannot enter their headquarters because their badges don’t work, and those inside are unable to enter various rooms because access is dependent upon obtaining authorization from remote Facebook servers.
Those who live by technology...
— Steve Gibson (@SGgrc) October 4, 2021
Facebook is back up for some users as of Monday evening, but not all—and “major problems remain.” The company’s stock ended the day down nearly 5 percent.