Global Facebook Outages As Company Faces Ethical Questions  

Monday, October 4, 2021 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

(Worthy News) – Social services , WhatsApp, and Instagram slowly reconnected to the global Monday, nearly six hours into a massive outage that underscored the limitations of worldwide communications.

All three services, owned by social media giant Facebook, could not be accessed over the web or applications. There was no official reason given for the problem. Still, online experts suggested it may involve an error with DNS, or the domain name system, for Facebook sites.

DNS is often compared to a crucial address book or phone book for the internet. Previous issues with DNS led to widespread outages of several major websites earlier this year. Monday’s disruption, one of the worst to hit Facebook in years, came while the company faced fresh questions about its operations. On Monday, it asked a judge to dismiss U.S. government efforts to force Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

The legal wrangling came while former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen prepared to urge the U.S. to regulate the social media giant. According to prepared testimony leaked ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, she compares Facebook to tobacco companies that denied that smoking damaged health for decades.

“When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action,” said Haugen’s written testimony released by Reuters news agency. “I implore you to do the same here,” she added in the written statement to be delivered to a Commerce subcommittee.

PROTECTING KIDS

Haugen, 37, was a product manager on Facebook’s misinformation team before leaving the firm earlier this year. She was to attend the hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online” about the company’s research into Instagram’s effect on the mental health of young users.

Haugen will tell the panel that Facebook executives regularly choose profits over user safety. “The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people.
Congressional action is needed.”

She has expressed concerns about the negative impact of services such as Instagram on, especially teenage girls. Haugen said that Facebook’s emphasis on profits made it doing too little to protect teenage girls from self-hatred, fed in particular by Instagram.

She also complained that Facebook had done too little to prevent its platform from being used by people planning violence.

Amid the controversies, shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, opened lower and were on track for their worst daily performance in almost a year.

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