Expert: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp back online after global outage

Published: 6 October 2021

Facebook and Facebook-owned apps Instagram and WhatsApp were up and running again late Monday after being hit by an outage that affected users around the world. The social media giant said the disruption to network traffic "had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt." It said there is no evidence that user data was comprised. It was the largest such outage ever tracked by the web monitoring group Downdetector, which collates complaints about web outages. (CBC News)

Here is an expert from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Samuel Veissière, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Co-director, Culture, Mind and Brain Program

The global disruptions caused by the social media outage show us how vulnerable and dependent on a single corporate monopoly our social, professional, and economic life have become. Research is increasingly clear on the subject: despite the gains in connectivity and access to information, social media is overwhelmingly detrimental to our mental health and social relations. The blackout may have been a blessing in disguise.”

Samuel Veissière is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, the Co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program and an Associate Member of the Department of Anthropology. An interdisciplinary anthropologist and cognitive scientist, he studies social dimensions of cognition, consciousness, and human well-being through a variety of projects including placebo effects and hypnosis, hyper-sociality in smartphone addiction, social polarization, gender and mental health, and the theoretical study of cultural evolution.

samuel.veissiere [at] (English, French, Portuguese)

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