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Facebook shares drop 5% after site outage and whistleblower interview

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The founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 15, 2020.

Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook shares fell almost 5% on Monday after the company suffered its worst service outage since 2008, and a day after “60 Minutes” aired an interview with a whistleblower, who accused the company of betraying democracy.

The market was broadly down on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping over 2%. The decline was particularly sharp among social media stocks, as Twitter, Snap and Pinterest each fell more than 5%.

Shortly before noon ET, Facebook’s main app experienced an outage, as did its Instagram and WhatsApp services. They remained offline as of market close.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” the company said in a tweet. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

The outage marks the worst for Facebook since 2008, when a bug knocked the company’s services offline for about a day, affecting about 80 million users. The company currently boasts 3 billion users.

It’s been a rough week for Facebook, and got worse Sunday night.

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Frances Haugen revealed herself to be the whistleblower who provided key internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal has used the information in a series of recent reports titled “The Facebook Files.”

Haugen is a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation division who left the company in May and made copies of numerous internal files before departing the company. Haugen accused Facebook of prioritizing its “own profits over public safety — putting people’s lives at risk.”

Facebook shares slid 4.9% to close at $326.23. The stock is still up 19% this year.

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