SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook and some of its apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, appeared to go down at the same time on Monday for many users, who turned to Twitter and other social media platforms to lament the outage.
The social network and its apps began displaying error messages before noon Eastern time, users reported. All of the company’s family of apps — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — showed outage reports, according to the site downdetector.com, which monitors web traffic and site activity.
Two Facebook security team members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said it was unlikely that a cyberattack caused the issues. That’s because the technology behind the apps was still different enough that one hack was not likely to affect all of them at once.
In a series of tweets, John Graham-Cumming, the chief technology officer of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company, said the problem was likely with Facebook’s servers, which were not letting people connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, posted on Twitter, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Instagram and Facebook users checking out Twitter while they’re down pic.twitter.com/MGZoRYmRXl
— James Felton (@JimMFelton)
Many users are reporting that Facebook is down for them, too. FB staffers are looking into the outages. https://t.co/LOzqSwj4oU
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Instagram and Facebook are currently not working, as are democracy, society and a healthy sense of self.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod)
Facebook’s internal communications platform, Workplace, was also taken out, leaving most employees unable to do their jobs. Two Facebook workers called it the equivalent of a “snow day.”
Facebook has already been dealing with plenty of scrutiny. The company has been under fire from a whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who amassed thousands of pages of internal research and has since distributed them to the news media, lawmakers and regulators. The documents revealed that Facebook knew of many harms that its services were causing.
Ms. Haugen, who revealed her identity on Sunday online and on “60 Minutes,” is scheduled to testify on Tuesday in Congress about Facebook’s impact on young users.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
“This court gave the agency a second chance to make a valid claim,” the company said in its filing. “But the same deficiency that was fatal to the F.T.C.’s initial complaint remains: the amended complaint still pleads no facts plausibly establishing that Facebook has, and at all relevant times had, monopoly power.”
Facebook’s motion to dismiss the case was widely expected. The company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has promised to fight any government attempt to hobble the company through antitrust action.
Ford Motor said Monday that its sales of new vehicles in the United States fell about 27 percent in the three months that ended in September from the same period a year earlier. The drop was in line with the rest of the auto industry, which has been hampered by a global shortage of computer chips.
On the other hand, pressures to open the taps are growing. Signs of distress are emerging in the energy markets.
States and cities that have been slow to distribute emergency rental assistance funds will have to submit improvement plans or face the prospect of having the money redistributed to other places next month, the Treasury Department said Monday.
Global Trade Recovery Is ‘Strong but Unequal,’ W.T.O. Says
The World Trade Organization’s director general said global trade recovered faster than anticipated in the first half of 2021, but that uneven vaccine access was exacerbating an economic divergence across regions.
With two quarters of trade and G.D.P. data for 2021 already in hand, it has become clear that the pace of trade recovery is closer to our optimistic scenario from March. This has led the W.T.O. to upgrade its projections for merchandise trade in 2021 and 2022. Our economists now estimate that the volume of world merchandise trade will increase by 10.8 percent in 2021, and then by 4.7 percent in 2022. These upward revisions to our merchandise trade numbers are good news, but not cause for complacency about the global economy or the multilateral trading system. The trade recovery is strong but unequal, mirroring the K-shaped recovery in global economic output. Some regions, those with access to vaccines and sufficient fiscal space are recovering strongly, while poorer regions with mostly unvaccinated populations are lagging behind. Moreover, the risks to the outlook are firmly on the downside. The pandemic itself is far from over, and new outbreaks and variants of Covid-19 could weigh on trade and output through 2022.
Global trade recovered from its pandemic lows faster than anticipated in the first half of 2021 and is set to grow more quickly than expected next year, lifting global growth forecasts, the World Trade Organization said Monday.
The W.T.O. now forecasts global merchandise trade to grow 10.8 percent in 2021, up from the 8 percent it forecast in March, as the flow of goods recovers from last year’s slump. Global trade is expected to rise 4.7 percent in 2022 as the growth rate approaches its prepandemic trend, the W.T.O. said.
That trade growth has not been equal as a result of the pandemic, the group said, with developing regions in particular lagging behind because of lower vaccination rates, and supply chain disruptions continuing to weigh on trade in some areas.
In remarks on Monday, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the W.T.O. director general, said uneven access to vaccines was exacerbating an economic divergence across regions. She urged the group’s members to come together to agree on a foundation for more rapid vaccine production and equitable distribution.
“This is necessary to sustain the global economic recovery,” she said. “Vaccine policy is economic policy — and trade policy.”
More than six billion doses of the vaccine have been produced and administered worldwide, the W.T.O. said, but only 2.2 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
Shares of China Evergrande were halted on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on Monday pending a deal, as doubts swirled over whether the struggling property giant would be able to meet its immense financial obligations.
The real estate developer — once China’s most prolific — has been under close watch by foreign investors and local regulators after it missed two important interest payments on U.S. dollar bonds. The missed payments may not necessarily trigger a default because they each have a 30-day grace period before the missing payment would be considered a default.
The company has not addressed its missed bond payments but said last week that it had sold a stake in a Chinese bank for $1.5 billion, which would go to pay some of its debts. Investors who are owed payments said they had not heard anything from the company, either.
“I think it’s going to be a major hit for bondholders,” said Mr. Löwy, who said he was much more negative about the situation as more information has emerged about the quality of the land that Evergrande owns but has yet to develop. A restructuring of the entire sprawling real estate empire “would be very difficult to monetize,” he said.
The United States will begin talks with China in the coming days as it tries to get Beijing to fulfill commitments it made in a trade deal signed during the Trump administration, Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative, said in a speech in Washington on Monday.
Ms. Tai said the United States would also use those talks to raise broader concerns about China’s nonmarket trade practices, including subsidies it provides to Chinese industries. And she made clear that the administration had no plans to immediately roll back the tariffs that President Donald J. Trump placed on Chinese goods, though she said the United States would establish a process for companies to qualify for special exclusions from the tariffs.
In remarks that laid out the first details on the administration’s approach to trade with China, Ms. Tai said she would use “the full range of tools we have” to defend American workers from China’s harmful policies. She also promised to work with allies and invest heavily in American capacity, including in job training and infrastructure, to better compete with China.
But she gave few policy specifics on what the United States would do beyond seeking to enforce the Phase 1 trade deal signed under Mr. Trump.
China is on pace to fall short of its 2021 purchasing commitments by more than 30 percent, after falling short by more than 40 percent last year, according to Chad P. Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who tracks the purchases.
Ms. Tai gave a mixed review of Mr. Trump’s trade deal, saying it had focused on “longstanding and serious problems” like intellectual property violations and benefited some industries like U.S. agriculture. But she said it “did not meaningfully address the fundamental concerns that we have with China’s trade practices and their harmful impacts on the U.S. economy.”
She highlighted industries like steel, solar panels and semiconductors, where China has used generous government financing and state-directed purchases to corner global markets and squeeze American competitors.
“Those policies have reinforced a zero-sum dynamic in the world economy where China’s growth and prosperity come at the expense of workers and economic opportunity here in the U.S. and other market-based, democratic economies,” Ms. Tai said. “That is why we need to take a new, holistic and pragmatic approach in our relationship with China that can actually further our strategic and economic objectives — for the near-term and the long-term.”
Ms. Tai’s remarks appear to hint at the possibility of a future trade investigation into Chinese subsidies. The U.S. trade representative has been considering starting an investigation under a legal statute known as Section 301, according to people familiar with the deliberations, which could ultimately allow the United States to impose more tariffs or take other punitive actions.
When asked in a question-and-answer session if the United States would pursue a Section 301 investigation, Ms. Tai declined to say but said she would “look at all available tools.”
This content was originally published here.