What does Facebook down reveal about our modern world?

A Facebook down showed how much people relies on the social media company and the perils of a centralized service.

Facebook services fell globally by six hours, causing problems to people and businesses. With 3.5 billion users around the globe, the collapse was a major event that pointed out the power hold by an isolated company.

The outage of Facebook requires us to rethink how we communicate with the world. Centralized services are an Achilles heel for tech services.

How did Facebook fell?

On October 4th, Facebook services were down for more than six hours. That includes Instagram, WhatsApp, and even the internal services of the company.

For understanding the impact of the problem, just remember that 3.5 billion people around the world rely on Facebook apps for daily communication. The social media company is also a key ally for businesses and NGOs that are looking to connect with their audience.  

As Facebook is also used to log in to different websites, such as e-commerce, streaming services, or even inter-connected devices, the Facebook down caused a domino effect.

Of course, the fall down of a company used for billion of people meant a loss of billion dollars. Facebook’s stocks were to the dip, felling down -4.63% in a day, meaning a loss of $6 B. The company also calculates a loss of $100 M in revenues.

What does Facebook down imply in the modern world?

The Facebook down reveals how people around the world rely heavily on Facebook services. The four most downloaded apps of the past decade are property of Facebook: Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger. For that reason, the outage of Facebook resembled a Techno-Apocalypse. 

However, the Facebook family is also responsible for the distractions at work. So, it’s not weird that other people looked at the bright side of the outage. For many people, it meant a boost in productivity. 

Office workers can get easily distracted on Facebook, but for small businesses, the platform is a key ally. Many of them were severely wounded as they respond to clients and take their orders from WhatsApp or Facebook. 

All those facts point out an evident truth: Facebook holds so much power in daily life. Public discourse, private communication, and customer service occur in its global platform. But the problems don’t end here.

This is not the only problem for Facebook in the week

Facebook has dealt with criticism due to the weak protection of user data and monopolistic practices. In recent weeks, the whistleblower Francis Haugen has revealed that the social media company was aware of the damage of the social network to their users in a trial similar to Big Tobacco, which knew about the deadly effects of its product on users and did nothing. Francis Haugen will also testify to the lack of transparency of the company that makes difficult the work of regulators in front of the US senators.

Facebook continues to achieving billionaire profits, but now it’s in the scope of government scrutiny. The situation could lead to a drop in the value of their shares and measures that would rip out its business. 

Can we think a world without Facebook?

The Facebook down obligates us to rethink the current state of social media. Could a cross-platform service be built to achieve the decentralization of communications? Should Facebook be split into diverse social media companies that compete between themselves? Or is it impossible (for now) to think in a world without Facebook?