Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams Facebook during outage, saying company's 'monopolistic behavior' saying it's destructive to 'free society and democracy'

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  • A Monday outage took Facebook-owned companies offline- including WhatsApp and Instagram.

  • Rep. Ocasio-Cortez slammed the company saying it is a threat to "free society and democracy."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed what she called Facebook's "monopolistic behavior" for the impacts of Monday's Facebook outage that affected WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

She specifically responded to a claim that Latin American communities were disproportionately affected by the Facebook outage on Monday, due to the high use of WhatsApp.

"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," the congresswoman said on Twitter, in response to Forbes editor José Caparroso.

"Remember: WhatsApp wasn't created by Facebook. It was an independent success. FB got scared & bought it," Ocasio-Cortez continued.

During the outage, Caparroso tweeted: "Latin America lives on WhatsApp. I am surprised by so many people underestimating how catastrophic this downfall has been."

Other social media users agreed. "The repercussions of WhatsApp being down in The Rest Of The World are vast and devastating. It's like the equivalent of your phone and the phones of all of your loved ones being turned off without warning. The app essentially functions as an unregulated utility," said Aura Bogado, a reporter and producer at Reveal.

"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," Ocasio-Cortez added. "Break them up."

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has been a staunch supporter of breaking up big tech and supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan during her 2020 presidential campaign, according to Politico.

"Facebook as a basic communications platform while also selling ads and also being a surveillance platform," Ocasio-Cortez said to Politico in 2019. "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 Facebook outage lasted 6 hours and was restored before 6 p.m. ET.

"*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook-powered services right now. We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible," said Mike Schroepfer, the chief technology officer for Facebook, via Twitter this afternoon.

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