Facebook outage ‘will increase calls to break up social media companies’ | #socialmedia

A major global outage across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Monday is likely to increase pressure to break up the social media brands.

That’s according to Newstalk’s technology correspondent Jess Kelly, who was speaking after Facebook said the outage was due to a ‘faulty configuration change’.

All three services – which are owned by Facebook – were down for around six hours on Monday.

The company said it had no reason to believe any user data was compromised due to the outage.

“To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms,” it said.

“We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running”.

Jess Kelly told Newstalk Breakfast this will damage Facebook’s reputation.

“It absolutely causes reputational damage, it causes financial damage.

“But beyond that… in the last 12 hours what I’ve been thinking about, and I know a lot of tech analysts have been thinking about, is this is another stark reminder of the power and the monopoly that Facebook has.

“It’s three of the biggest tech tools in the world, all owned by the one company, going down at the same time.

“This could be yet another argument in favour of breaking up the Facebook companies.

“The key issue here is that the back-end of Facebook is built and controlled by Facebook – so once one of them goes down, they’re all going to go down.

“So yes you have that reputational damage, but I think this is going to absolutely add fuel to the fire for the calls to break up Facebook”.

Meanwhile a US Senate committee has heard from a whistleblower who used to work for the company.

Frances Haugen claimed its products “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy”.

She told the committee in Washington DC on Tuesday: “Left alone, Facebook will continue to make choices that go against the common good. Our common good.

“When we realised big tobacco was hiding the harms, that caused the government to take action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action.

“And when our government learned that opioids were taking lives, the government took action.”

Ms Haugen  implored politicians in the hearing to take similar action against Facebook – and alleged the company’s leadership knows how to make its platforms safer but will not make the necessary changes “because they have put their astronomical profits before people”.

Major Facebook outage ‘will increase calls to break up social media companies’

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Main image: A logo of social networking site Facebook is pictured in Huaibei city, China in 2018. Picture by: Imaginechina Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

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