Social media outage causes outrage

INSTAGRAM SERVERS shut down, blocking crucial communication. James Martin/CNET

Aaron Velez | News Editor

October 7, 2021

On Monday, multiple major messaging and social media organizations shut down for several hours, blocking key communication around the globe. Between the major services shut down, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, there are a combined 6.1 billion accounts that were completely stranded from messaging through those apps.

For San Clemente High School students, Instagram was undoubtedly the most disruptive outage, specifically when posts of last week’s Homecoming dance were going up. “It was really annoying because I had been waiting for my friends to post all of the pictures of our group,” junior Amanda Cabagbag said. “Several people, including me, had already posted as well, but no one could see them because the entire app was down.”

USERS SAY “thumbs down” to Facebook after global outage. Getty Images 

While the lack of homecoming posts and communication through Instagram was the primary issue to most students at SCHS, the issue was much broader. “For basically the entire day, I couldn’t talk to my relatives or friends in other countries,” junior Gaby Peña said. “Our only forms of communication with them are Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp– both of which were completely unavailable.”

Updates as to why these massive corporations went dark are still very scarce; some conspiracy theories are already arising, claiming that the event was actually purposeful self-sabotage from Facebook Inc. (the parent company of all of the companies that lost coverage). Coincidentally, the outage came the day after a 60 minutes segment shedding light on some of the darker aspects of Facebook, leading to some already controversial speculation.

Facebook has since gone silent as to what really occurred on Monday. The lead tech support of Facebook Inc. has chalked all of the problems up to “network errors,” which likely contains some truth but still appears to be an extremely vague workaround to avoid a larger issue.

The largest takeaway from this experience is that it is dangerous to rely on a few major companies for communication; when one large company, like Facebook, monopolizes an industry, the consequences of their failures can be catastrophic and have the capacity to affect billions of people.

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