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Ashley

The Great Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram Outage

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In what feels like poor planning Facebook has all it's eggs in one basket and that basket is now on fire and their services have been down for several hours. 

All sorts of reports going round from it being the result of a change that went haywire to hackers to something done intentionally to distract from the 60 Minutes interview yesterday. One of the funnier details seems to be that their building controls are on IoT so nobody can get in and their internal tools all use Facebook so nobody can communicate. 

Will be interesting to see how this plays out. For one of the biggest companies in the world this is really embarrassing because it's highlighting a lot of their flaws. 

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It's funny how I would have completely missed this, if it weren't for the bit of news I happen to have caught earlier this evening.

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Nowadays I only have my facebook account active in order to use my Oculus and I do use WhatsApp and messenger with a couple of my contacts. Really think they suck, hopefully this convinces a few more people to move away from their services.

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Amazing how blown out of proportion it all was with all the breaking news reports etc.

I use Facebook for messenger mostly along with a few groups to keep up to date on some news or buy my precious, precious comics. To be honest if it wasn’t for those few things that still make it helpful I would have deleted it years ago.

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7 hours ago, Sméagol said:

It's funny how I would have completely missed this, if it weren't for the bit of news I happen to have caught earlier this evening.

I didn't actually realise it happened until this morning.

Joys of not always being online, I suppose.

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Wait, was Whatsapp out of commission yesterday? Because I got a message around 2 AM from somebody who should not be awake at that time. Was this the cause?

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13 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

Wait, was Whatsapp out of commission yesterday? Because I got a message around 2 AM from somebody who should not be awake at that time. Was this the cause?

Probably, it happened from around 5pm yesterday for around 6 hours.

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Yeah I got a couple of Facebook messenger messages this morning all at once.

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I went outside and pushed a hoop down a cobbled road with a stick, whilst some spitfires flew overhead.

Just like the good ol' days.

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It's easy to say "it had no affect on me" but for some countries Facebook services are in effect the internet. Obviously it shouldn't be like that but sadly it is. You'd hope this would be a call to split those things back up but that's obviously not going to happen. 

I don't actively use Facebook any more and it was mildly annoying to not be able to communicate via WhatsApp yesterday (and to a lesser extent distract myself with Instagram) but I am curious what comes out of this, if anything. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ashley said:

It's easy to say "it had no affect on me" but for some countries Facebook services are in effect the internet. Obviously it shouldn't be like that but sadly it is. You'd hope this would be a call to split those things back up but that's obviously not going to happen.

I was about to bring this up. While I was catching up on news this morning, I noticed that a lot of smaller businesses were pretty hard hit by not being able to use Facebook, etc.

That's clearly an issue if 6 hours of downtime can cause that much damage.

Edited by Glen-i

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I didn't notice until around 8 pm where I scrolled through the news. I don't use Facebook much personally because most of what is on my wall is just sponsored content or pages I follow. Never anything from my contacts. But I do use Messenger for keeping in contact with friends and family. It's easier to just have everyone on one platform. 

But it is a bit worrying that one of the largest companies in the world is THAT vulnerable to a single mistake. It was a configuration change in their routers that caused the downtime. One guy's work just caused a 4.9 pct point drop in their stocks. Incredible.

 

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8 hours ago, Happenstance said:

Yeah I got a couple of Facebook messenger messages this morning all at once.

and that was just me hassling you :heh:

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11 hours ago, Glen-i said:

I didn't actually realise it happened until this morning.

Joys of not always being online, I suppose.

Even funnier is that, despite my increasing disapprovement of big tech, I'm technically still using facebook, and I did download whatsapp on my new phone. it says more about my social life that I didn't notice anything unfortunately. :indeed:

7 hours ago, Glen-i said:

I was about to bring this up. While I was catching up on news this morning, I noticed that a lot of smaller businesses were pretty hard hit by not being able to use Facebook, etc.

That's clearly an issue if 6 hours of downtime can cause that much damage.

Which hopefully is a wakeup call for those small companies.

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4 minutes ago, Sméagol said:

Which hopefully is a wakeup call for those small companies.

In an ideal world, but I'm afraid Facebook is so monopolistic as far as social media goes, small companies don't really have much of a choice...

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19 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

In an ideal world, but I'm afraid Facebook is so monopolistic as far as social media goes, small companies don't really have much of a choice...

They do have a choice. First of all, it's fine to use facebook etc. as a method of communication, but don't rely on it for all your business.

Secondly, there are plenty alternatives. Facebook's own business is not even facebook anymore, if you want to reach the younger generation, you'll need an alternative anyway. And yes, one of them is owned by facebook, but others aren't. Twitter usage apparently shot up after facebook etc. being down. Signal saw more downloads. The alternatives are there. And again, you still shouldn't rely on social media for all your business in the first place. A small website doesn't cost much, and e-mail and telephone aren't going to go away.

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13 hours ago, Sméagol said:

They do have a choice. First of all, it's fine to use facebook etc. as a method of communication, but don't rely on it for all your business.

Secondly, there are plenty alternatives. Facebook's own business is not even facebook anymore, if you want to reach the younger generation, you'll need an alternative anyway. And yes, one of them is owned by facebook, but others aren't. Twitter usage apparently shot up after facebook etc. being down. Signal saw more downloads. The alternatives are there. And again, you still shouldn't rely on social media for all your business in the first place. A small website doesn't cost much, and e-mail and telephone aren't going to go away.

There are plenty of alternatives, but they don't get to pick where their customers are. If Facebook sees a higher rate of success than other options, of course they're going to prioritise it.

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8 hours ago, Goafer said:

There are plenty of alternatives, but they don't get to pick where their customers are. If Facebook sees a higher rate of success than other options, of course they're going to prioritise it.

And like I said before, it's not about choosing one alternative over the other, it's about not putting all your eggs in one basket. The internet is all encompassing. Their customers are everywhere. Just like that whatever protocol was a single point of failure for facebook, so is relying on only facebook for all your business a single point of failure for all those businesses who were seriously affected by this. So hopefully this taught them a lesson.

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I think the "their customers are everywhere" line may not be true in some cases (particularly smaller business in certain markets). 

I know it's anecdotal but I'm the website and social media admin for some dog grooming salons and while there is a site and Google business listing the vast vast majority of customers interact with them through Facebook. Obviously there's some metrics I can't see (email address or direct phone calls, but can see when they've come via Google business) but I can't imagine it changes it that much. Facebook has become ubiquitous, particularly for a certain portion of the population. Facebook for them offers a lot of things in one place; connect with people they know, read news, contact local business and buy and sell things. If Facebook disappeared completely then they'll likely search further afield but at the moment why would they? 

I think very few business rely on it as their single point, but it is very much their most 'nurtured'. 

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Yeah, very very few of the general overall population can be bothered navigating away from the mainstays.... facebook, insta etc.  Honestly can't remember the last time i ventured to someones personal web page. We've become very lazy online consumers.. why would we need to actually search for things when the algorithms have found us exactly what we "want" before we even have to type it.   One of the big reasons why (sadly) independant groups, forums websites etc (like this one incidentally) have seen a huge drop in numbers over the past 10,15 years.  It will be interesting what will replace the likes of facebook etc in another 20 years

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This didn't directly affect me when it happened as I was working and using Skype/Zoom at the time. If they had gone down that would have been bad for me. I use facebook just once a week but use Whatsapp more. I spoke to a few people about this and some moved over to other platforms like telegram for that day while others were left in the dark why their account for instagram, whatsapp didn't work. The more connected we are, the more things like this will hit us in the future.

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14 hours ago, Sméagol said:

And like I said before, it's not about choosing one alternative over the other, it's about not putting all your eggs in one basket. The internet is all encompassing. Their customers are everywhere. Just like that whatever protocol was a single point of failure for facebook, so is relying on only facebook for all your business a single point of failure for all those businesses who were seriously affected by this. So hopefully this taught them a lesson.

Who said they were putting all their eggs in one basket? Let's be generous and say they have a website, eBay account, phone number, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, that's still a third of their revenue stream gone. For a small businesses, that can be devastating.

And that's assuming all those revenue streams are equal. If the majority of their customers came through either Facebook or Instagram, something they can't exactly control, the effect is even worse.

And that's also assuming small businesses have the resources to pay for and manage lots of options. Many don't.

Any way you look at it, Facebook and Instagram are huge for a lot of businesses, regardless of whether they have other options.

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Have to agree with Goafer here. @Sméagol you talk about not putting all your eggs in one basket, but that proverb doesn't work here. That proverb assumes that the website owner is the ones putting the eggs in the basket, where in actual fact in this case the eggs are making their own mind up about which basket they go in.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make an omelette.

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I spent the evening chatting to this woman and a child that I live with. They seem nice. 

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