- An outage Monday took Facebook-owned businesses offline — including WhatsApp and Instagram.
- Rep. Ocasio-Cortez slammed the company, saying it is a threat to “free society and democracy.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed what she called Facebook’s “monopolistic behavior” for the effects of Monday’s Facebook disruption that affected WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
She responded specifically to a requirement that Latin American communities were disproportionately affected by the Facebook outage on Monday due to the high use of WhatsApp.
“It’s almost like Facebook’s monopolistic mission to either own, copy or destroy a competing platform has incredibly devastating effects on free society and democracy,” the congresswoman said on Twitter in response to Forbes editor José Caparroso.
“Remember: WhatsApp was not created by Facebook. It was an independent success. FB got scared and bought it,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
During the interruption, Caparroso tweeted: “Latin America lives on WhatsApp. I am amazed at so many people underestimating how catastrophic this decline has been.”
Other social media users agreed. “The consequences of WhatsApp being down in the rest of the world are enormous and devastating. It’s like the equivalent of your phone and the phones of all your loved ones being turned off without warning. The app essentially acts as an unregulated tool, said Aura Bogado, a reporter and producer at Reveal.
—Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) October 4, 2021
“If Facebook’s monopolistic behavior were checked back when it should have been (perhaps around the time it started acquiring competitors like Instagram), the continents of people who rely on WhatsApp and IG for either communication or commerce would be in order right now, “Ocasio -Cortez added. “Divide them up.”
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 4, 2021
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has been a strong supporter of breaking big tech and supported Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan during his 2020 presidential campaign, according to Politico.
“Facebook as a basic communication platform, while selling ads and also being a monitoring platform,” Ocasio-Cortez told Politico in 2019. “These features should be broken up, but how it is charged and how it is contacted is “We need to take a fine tooth comb.”
The Facebook interruption lasted 6 hours and was restored before 1 p.m. 18 ET.
“* Sincere * apologies to everyone affected by disruptions to Facebook-powered services right now. We’re experiencing network issues, and teams are working as quickly as possible to troubleshoot and recover as quickly as possible,” said Mike Schroepfer, Facebook chief technology officer , via Twitter this afternoon.