"It’s almost as if Facebook’s monopolistic mission to either own, copy, or destroy any competing platform has incredibly destructive effects on free society and democracy. Remember: WhatsApp wasn’t created by Facebook. It was an independent success. FB got scared & bought it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday.
Her message came in response to Forbes journalist José Caparroso tweeting that people in Latin America rely on WhatsApp to communicate, and noting he was "surprised by so many people underestimating how catastrophic this downfall has been."
"If Facebook’s monopolistic behavior was checked back when it should’ve been (perhaps around the time it started acquiring competitors like Instagram), the continents of people who depend on WhatsApp & IG for either communication or commerce would be fine right now. Break them up," Ocasio-Cortez added in her Twitter thread.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users reported outages on the apps at about 11 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday. By the afternoon, millions around the world were reporting issues. Downdetector, a company that tracks issues and outages with apps and websites, said it was the "largest outage" it's ever recorded.
It was the longest outage for Facebook since a 2008 outage, when it went dark for nearly an entire day.
Service was restored by Monday evening, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and spokesman Andy Stone both issued apologies for the disruptions that affected millions.
"Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today -- I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about," Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook account Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez has long called for the breakup of big tech companies. In 2019, she announced her support of Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s initiative to break up tech corporations during Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign.
"Facebook as a basic communications platform while also selling ads and also being a surveillance platform," Ocasio-Cortez told Politico at the time. "Those functions should be broken up, but how that gets levied and how that gets approached is what we need to take a fine-tooth comb at."
The massive outages on Monday left Facebook shares taking a roughly a 5% hit, and even bumped Zuckerberg from the #5 to #6 spot on Forbes’s list of the world’s wealthiest people. Zuckerberg owns about 15% of the company’s stock and the outages cost him more than $6 billion in personal wealth on Monday.
A blog post from Facebook explained that its engineering teams found that "configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt."
"We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime," the statement read.