Closure of Facebook, Instagram and other related services – Loquitur


Have you ever had the feeling that you were losing part of your daily routine for just one day and there was nothing you could do about it?

That’s the feeling billions of Facebook and Instagram users felt for about six hours from 11:40 a.m. on October 4, 2021, when both social media platforms shut down. Besides Facebook and Instagram, other related platforms such as WhatsApp and Messenger have also suffered the shutdown.

The shutdown led many to think it was somehow related to the 60-minute interview with former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen, which aired the day before.

Photo taken from CBS News. Frances Haugen on 60 Minutes

In the interview, Haugen alleged that Facebook, through its algorithms and profit-seeking methods, prioritizes hate and misinformation over honesty and integrity. Facebook to have a conflict of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook has repeatedly chosen to optimize for its own interests.

Many people forget an important detail: the courage and bravery that Haugen needed to expose Facebook. The risks of whistleblowing can be devastating.

The photo was taken from Unsplash. Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with 2.85 billion monthly active users

In a New York Times article John Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit legal organization that represents people seeking to report potential crimes, said of Haugen: “He is a very courageous person and she is taking a personal risk for hold a trillion dollar company to account.

The New York Times article also stated that Haugen had filed a complaint with the Security and Trade Commission, accusing Facebook of deceiving investors with public statements that did not match its internal actions.

It was later reported that the shutdown was caused by configurations in Facebook’s mainnet. According to Facebook Engineering, “Configuration changes on the main routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers. This error blocked their ability to communicate, which sparked a wave of network outages that ultimately led to the shutdown of Facebook and Instagram.

Photo taken from Unsplash. Social media can be really addicting

The shutdown has led many Facebook and Instagram users to switch to different social media platforms such as Twitter. Many Twitter accounts have welcomed all of these new users. The official Twitter account tweeted: “Hello literally everyone” which prompted many companies to respond by saying everything sorts of things related to the Facebook shutdown.

“At first I thought my phone was broken because I couldn’t open Facebook or Instagram,” history major John Mager said, recalling the day of the shutdown. “But when I heard that everyone was also facing the same problem, I started to think that maybe the shutdown was related to the whistleblower story that aired the day before.”

“The shutdown didn’t really affect my daily routine, but that day I felt a bit sore and just wanted to spend the day relaxing on Instagram but due to the shutdown I couldn’t,” Mager said.

Mager said the whistleblower’s story changed his view of Facebook.

“Before the whistleblower story, I was already a little skeptical of Facebook and its actions, but after watching some of the 60-minute interviews, I was even more skeptical of from Facebook.”

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