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Commentary: Time without Facebook emphasizes its global power

The six-hour outage on Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp was a headache for many casual users, but they used social media sites to run their businesses, relatives, fellow parents, teachers, and neighbors.

When all three services went dark on Monday, it clearly reminded us of the power and reach of Facebook, which owns photo-sharing and messaging apps.

Around the world, the loss of WhatsApp has left many at a loss. In Brazil, messaging services are by far the most widely used app in the country, installed on 99% of all smartphones, according to technical researcher Mobile Time.

WhatsApp has become an integral part of communicating with friends and family in Brazil, but many companies also use WhatsApp to stay in touch with their customers in college and in everyday transactions such as food orders. increase.

Offices, services, and even courts struggled to make reservations, overwhelming telephone lines.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians at home and abroad were suffering from WhatsApp outages.

Many of the country’s more than 11 million people rely on it to warn each other about gang violence in certain areas and to talk to relatives in the United States about remittances and other urgent issues. Haitian immigrants traveling to the United States rely on it to share important information such as with each other or a safe place to sleep.

Nergie Mireille, a 35-year-old unemployed woman who relies on money sent from her relatives abroad, said she stopped by a phone repair shop in the capital of Port-au-Prince because she thought her phone was out of order. ..

“I was waiting for my cousin to confirm the transfer,” she said. “I was very frustrated.”

“I couldn’t hear from my love,” said 28-year-old Wilken’s Burgundy, noting that his partner in the neighboring Dominican Republic bought an affordable item to bring back to Haiti. I complained.

He said he was worried about her safety because Haiti was suffering from a surge of gangsters and could not be contacted for seven hours.

“Everyone is worried about anxiety,” he said.

For small businesses, on the other hand, Facebook and Instagram outages meant losing hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.

Brooke Erin Duffy, a professor of communications at Cornell University, said: She said there is a vast category of workers who depend on the platform on which their livelihood is functioning.

She’s just an example of how entrepreneurs and small businesses become vulnerable each time Facebook or others introduce new features or make other changes that affect the functionality of the site. Said not.

Sarah Murdoch runs Adventures with Sarah, a small Seattle-based travel agency that uses Facebook Live videos to promote their tours. She estimated that a power outage would cost thousands of dollars to book.

“I’ve tried other platforms because I’m wary of Facebook, but nothing is so powerful for the type of content I create,” Murdoch said. Regarding her loss, “Maybe only a few, but we’re painfully small.”

Heather Lynton has been running a portrait studio in Lynton, Indiana for 18 years. She takes pictures for schools and sports teams and makes garden signs with those pictures. She has her own website, but said her parents and other customers are most likely trying to reach her through social media.

She said she might have lost three or four photo appointments for her client’s $ 200.

“Many people have a specific window only when they can order, book, etc.,” she said. “If they can’t get a direct answer, they go to someone else.”

Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp icons will appear on the screen of a smartphone in Kempten, Germany, on Monday, October 4, 2021. The six-hour outage on Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp on Monday was a headache for many casual users. .. However, power outages were far more serious for many people around the world who use social media sites to communicate with relatives, friends and neighbors and run their businesses. It clearly reminds us that many of the most popular communication methods are managed by one company, Facebook. Also, prolonged outages can have serious consequences. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa via AP)



Commentary: Time without Facebook emphasizes its global power

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