A Facebook whistleblower revealed in an interview on "60 Minutes" that the social media company betrayed democracy, causing the site's stocks to drop nearly 5% on Monday amid the worst service outage that Facebook has experienced in the last 13 years.
Many stocks were observed to have dropped on Monday, including Nasdaq Composite which dropped over 2%. But the decrease was most prominent among social media stocks, including Twitter, Snap, and Pinterest, each dropping more than 5%.
Facebook's Stock Drops
Facebook also suffered from a major outage, similar to the social media platform's Instagram and WhatsApp services. In a Twitter post, Facebook authorities announced that they were aware of the issues and were continuously working on getting services back up for their customers as quickly as possible. The company expressed its apologies to the affected consumers.
The sudden service blackout for many of Facebook's users is the worst that the company has experienced since 2008 when the social media platform's services went offline for a day when it was attacked by a bug. The incident affected roughly 80 million users, which is relatively a small sample size to the company's now three billion users, CNBC reported.
The incident came after a whistleblower of the social media company had an interview where she claimed that Facebook amplified hate, misinformation, and political unrest. The individual was identified as Frances Haugen, who has filed complaints against the company, with one arguing that Facebook's Instagram was harmful to teenage girls.
Haugen's claims were unique due to the number of private Facebook research she took with her when she quit the company in May. She first revealed the documents last month, where she initially kept her identity anonymous.
Her recent interview included the reveal of her identity and her reasons for becoming a Facebook whistleblower. Haugen said that during her time with the company, she repeatedly observed conflicts of interest between the public good and what was beneficial for the social media company, CBS News reported.
Secrets of the Social Media Company
The whistleblower claimed that Facebook repeatedly chose to benefit its own interest over what was good for the public. The 37-year-old data scientist worked for various companies for 15 years, including Google and Pinterest. Haugen said that while she previously observed unfavorable situations at other social networks, the environment inside Facebook was the worst she has ever seen.
Haugen said that her efforts to reveal the inner workings and corruption within Facebook risked the social media company's retaliation against her. However, she said that the company should not be able to operate without accountability for its decisions and how they affect the public.
On Tuesday, Haugen is scheduled to appear before the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. She said that she believed her actions to reveal the corruption within Facebook were the right thing for the good of the public. However, she expressed concerns that Facebook had "infinity resources" that the company could use to "destroy" her.
"I came forward because I recognized a frightening truth: almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook," Haugen said, CNN reported.