Facebook crash reveals its dangerous power over everyone – The Ticker


Alexandra Nita | The teleprinter

The widespread outage of Facebook, Inc., which has left billions of users without access to the site and its various other properties, has highlighted how damaging the tech giant’s business is to a fluid democracy.

On October 4, swipers around the world saw their worst nightmare come true. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all down for almost six hours.

In a blog post downloaded that night, Facebook attributed the outage to a configuration change in its routers. The following night, Facebook described the incident in more detail, saying the outage was the result of a maintenance error that cut the connection between Facebook’s data centers and the internet.

It was Facebook’s worst blackout since 2019, when the site was down for more than 24 hours. This time around, the blackout coincided with a controversy surrounding the ethics of the company’s business practices.

Francis Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, handed over tens of thousands of internal documents she had amassed while working on the social network for The Wall Street Journal, which started publishing the results last month.

The leak revealed many disturbing revelations about the internal conduct of the company, including that Facebook deliberately ignored disinformation and hate speech to increase ad revenue, as well as the fact that company executives were aware that Instagram’s algorithm was making body image problems worse in teens.

“I saw a bunch of social networks and it was significantly worse on Facebook than I had seen before”, Haugen said in an interview with “60 minutes”. “Facebook, time and time again, has shown it prefers profit over security.”

Haugen was due to testify about his experiences with the company just a day after everything went offline.

Facebook has consistently tapped into its impressive capital to absorb potential competitors. Instagram and WhatsApp, for example, were individual entities before Facebook bought them for $ 1 billion and $ 19 billion, respectively, as reported. BBC.

Thus, the internal affairs of a company that prioritizes profits over public safety indicate that its content moderation policies have a greater implication in global discourse.

Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez used the blackout to highlight the damage Facebook’s vast reach across cyberspace is having on democracy in the United States and other nations.

“It’s almost as if Facebook’s monopoly mission to own, copy or destroy any competing platform has incredibly destructive effects on free society and democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez said. tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez addresses a larger issue about how Facebook’s conglomerate tendencies foster a toxic interdependence between the company and its various offshoots, which dooms everything if one fails to function.

This is particularly dangerous in today’s global climate, in which digital interconnection is essential for both communication and commerce.

The Latin American community is one of those groups that has suffered greatly from the recent blackout.

Forbes editor-in-chief José Caparroso spoke of his woes.

“Latin America lives on WhatsApp. I am surprised by so many people who underestimate how catastrophic this fall has been, ”said Caparroso. tweeted.

The impossible standoff between a widespread reprimand of Facebook’s practices in the form of a boycott and a global reliance on the social network for business and communication purposes means the company is unlikely to suffer social consequences anytime soon. .

Thus, the tech conglomerate faces legal repercussions.

Facebook is currently facing an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The company filed a motion to dismiss on October 4, claiming that there is no substantial evidence that the company violated antitrust laws, according to Rolling stone.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to counter any attempt by the government to stifle the company with antitrust actions.

The judge, who has until mid-November to respond to the company’s request for dismissal, can make an example of the agglomeration by passing the indictment.

Tech giants like Facebook need to be held accountable for the extent of their influence. While this blackout is a rare event, it has revealed a pattern of power-hungry trends that have serious and catastrophic global consequences.

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