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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram Currently Facing a Global Outage due to Technical Issue

Meta’s social media platforms are returning to normal after a global outage barred thousands of users from accessing their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Ghana, too, found itself grappling with a series of unexpected disruptions to its online landscape as users across the country faced intermittent outages on Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, and Thursday late afternoon. Reports flooded in indicating that Meta’s prominent social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, were all experiencing significant downtime starting from Tuesday morning. Users attempting to access these platforms were greeted with frustrating error messages, leaving them unable to connect or engage with their social networks.

The outage, which seemed to commence sometime after 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, spurred a flurry of activity on social media platforms and user-submitted issue trackers like DownDetector. Although Meta’s official status page focused solely on business products, community voices were vocal about the widespread disruptions affecting the platforms at large. Meta’s communications director, Andy Stone, acknowledged the issue, assuring users that efforts were underway to resolve it promptly.

Meta’s Outage Raises Concerns Over Political Influence and Voter Outreach

The timing of the outage raised eyebrows, particularly as it coincided with key events such as election day in several U.S. states, heightening concerns about potential interference or manipulation. Given Meta’s extensive reach, with billions of monthly active users, the outage posed a significant obstacle for political campaigns and voter outreach efforts reliant on the platform’s robust infrastructure.

Meta’s role in political discourse has been under scrutiny, prompting measures such as the temporary suspension of political ads during critical election periods. However, concerns persist regarding the platform’s influence, especially with the impending 2024 election cycle and Meta’s plans to employ AI-generated imagery to label political ads.

As discussions swirled regarding the outage’s origins and implications, Meta employees also found themselves locked out of work-related platforms, disrupting internal operations. Speculation ran rife, with past incidents of security breaches fueling anxieties about potential vulnerabilities.

Despite the tumult, the outage was ultimately resolved a few hours after its onset, with Stone confirming the technical nature of the issue and extending apologies for any inconvenience caused. The incident served as a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of digital ecosystems and the fragility of even the most robust online infrastructures.

The issue was rectified a few hours after it started. “Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services,” Stone wrote in a post on X. We are sorry for any difficulty caused, and we worked promptly to find a solution for everyone affected.

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