By Adam Button
OCTOBER 5th – Following a network outage of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus; Facebook apologizes to all users publicly on Twitter while defending themselves in court for knowingly harming their audiences for profit.
On Monday, October 4th at 12:00pm EST, Facebook’s services were left inaccessible due to a network problem. The main culprit was found to be in the underlying internet infrastructure that manages the traffic between their data centers.
This communication problem cascaded into other data centers causing everything to halt. Without finding a quick solution to the problem, the Facebook engineers were forced to hard reset their network. Luckily this fixed the network outage over the span of a couple hours, with most services being online by 6:00pm EST.
During the Facebook outage, many users went to Twitter to vent their frustrations and concerns. With the hashtag #facebookdown trending pretty quickly. Twitter themselves had problems with the sudden increase of members though they quickly found a solution.
Many people were concerned with the outage because their lives are on Facebook. Not as an impulsive need but as a job. Facebook is very popular in countries like India because of their recent and limited access to the internet. People have made jobs that relied on Facebook services to interact with customers and make sales.
This outage comes at an awkward time for Facebook as they fight in court against allegations of knowingly harming children/teenagers for profit. Facebook held a survey saying that 8 out of 10 teen Instagram users in the U.S. said the platform made them feel better or had no change on their feelings about themselves.
Although when the other 20% of teen Instagram users feel badly, that is 20% of roughly 200 million daily teen users. That totals to roughly 40 million teens that feel badly because of Instagram’s influence on their lives.
No matter the outcome of the trial, these past events should put in perspective the dangers of social media. Such a company should not have that daily influence on someone’s life in this manner.
For updates on the Whistleblower case against Facebook: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/10/05/technology/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen
Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-files-11631713039
Facebook’s Rebuttal to WSJ: https://about.fb.com/news/2021/09/research-teen-well-being-and-instagram/