According to USA Today, the problems began around noon (EST) on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram around the world. WhatsApp users also reported experiencing problems with sending photos. As of around 9:00 pm (EST), service had still not fully been restored, making it one of the longest outages ever for the social media giants.
Facebook users quickly shared their issues on Twitter, using the hashtag #facebookdown. Downdetector reported that the company was experiencing issues across a large portion of the U.S. and Europe, as well as in parts of South America, Asia and Australia.
"We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."
While the company hasn't revealed what caused the problem, Roland Dobbins, a principal engineer with network performance firm NETSCOUT, pointed to an accidental traffic jam issue with a European internet company, which collided with Facebook and other websites, as the culprit.
"While not malicious in nature, such events can prove disruptive on a widespread basis," he said.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy,” Warren wrote in a blog post, adding that “they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
The plan was denounced by Instagram Co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who believe the proposal is too wide-sweeping.
“I think it's [going to] take a more nuanced proposal,” Systrom said. “But my fear is that a proposal to break up all tech is playing on everyone’s current feeling of anti-tech, rather than doing what politicians should do, which is address real problems and give real solutions.”