Just hours after Meta announced on Friday it would terminate its COVID-19 “misinformation” policies, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were hit with widespread outages impacting millions of users.
The big tech platforms experienced a significant outage which prevented users from accessing their accounts, The Independent reported.
Users affected included Indiana, Washington State, Florida, Nebraska, and New York locations.
Users reported increased reports to DownDetector, a platform that tracks internet outages.
Over 12,000 users reported the issues on Facebook, while Instagram and WhatsApp experienced issues reported by over 6,600 and 1,300 users.
Facebook released a statement acknowledging the widespread outage:
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” the company stated.
On Friday, Meta announced it will now remove its censorship policies in the U.S.
As The Daily Fetched reported:
Meta has repeatedly clamped down on so-called COVID-19 “misinformation” in the U.S., sometimes at the behest of the White House.
While the tech giant said it would stop censorship of this type of content in the U.S., it will continue “in countries that have a Covid-19 public health emergency declaration” due to “the risk of imminent physical harm,” Meta told The Washington Post.
Meta’s Oversight Board, an independent body that reviews content moderation efforts on social media platforms, released a report in April advising continued censorship of COVID-19 “misinformation” until the pandemic’s emergency classification was taken away by global health authorities.
In May, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 “no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.”
Facebook censored thousands of posts asserting COVID-19 was man-made while the policy was in place.