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WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram crash

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Social media apps WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram leave users frustrated after crashing.

File image: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

NO, IT’S not your internet connection and your data is not depleted. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are down.

The three apps, which are all owned by Facebook Inc, stopped working at around 5pm (SA time). The apps all run on a shared infrastructure.

It is not yet clear what caused the crash and users took to other social media apps like Twitter to voice their frustrations.

In less than 30 minutes, WhatsApp was on the trending list with over 1.3 million tweets.

Users when logging in were either met with an error message or the apps would simply not refresh. WhatsApp messages were not being delivered.

In a tweet, WhatsApp said: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!”

The crash of the apps comes as a Facebook whistle-blower on Sunday accused the social media giant of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation, and said her lawyers have filed at least eight complaints with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to Reuters, Frances Haugen, who worked as a product manager on the civic misinformation team at Facebook, appeared on Sunday on the CBS television program 60 Minutes, revealing her identity as the whistle-blower who provided the documents that underpinned a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teen girls.

Reuters reported that Facebook has been under fire after the Journal published a series of stories based on Facebook internal presentations and e-mails that showed the social media company contributed to increased polarisation online when it made changes to its content algorithm, failed to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitancy and was aware that Instagram harmed the mental health of teenage girls.

Haugen will testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday in a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online,” about the company’s research into Instagram’s effect on young users.

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