When Facebook went down, users panicked. Has the third World War started? Is the apocalypse coming? Was Facebook hacked? Did Donald Trump shut it down? Did Mark Zuckerberg sell Facebook? These were just some of the reactions posted on Tuesday, May 9.
At around 8:30 a.m., parts of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, and Singapore experienced downtime on Facebook. When logging in, subscribers were greeted with, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”
According to the website Downdetector, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, Singapore, Manila, and Tokyo were just some of the cities affected by the sudden outage. Other parts affected were Kota Kemuning, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, and Hanoi to name a few. A user reported that Facebook was also down in South Korea, even stating that it’s fishy since today is the presidential election in the country.
As the eastern parts of the map slowly began to get their Facebook access back, reports from the United States began to trickle in saying that they can’t access the social media site from their side of the world. Downdetector‘s map showed San Francisco and Los Angeles on red alert. Vancouver, Canada also experienced downtime.
Downdetector recorded a huge spike in outage reports. Forty-one percent reported total blackout, 36 percent reported log in problems and 21 percent reported picture issues. As of this writing, no statement about the downtime has been released by Facebook.
As users discovered they couldn’t log in to Facebook, they took to Twitter to air their complaints. Moments later, Twitter suffered a momentary downtime as well.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s encrypted messaging service, WhatsApp, was reported to be currently inoperable for users across the globe. The messaging service acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion has more than 1 billion monthly users.
“WhatsApp is aware of the issue and working to fix it as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.
On another issue, Facebook lost its battle when an Austrian court recently ruled that the website must remove postings deemed as hate speech. This poses as a legal victory for campaigners who are fighting everyday against “trolling.”
The case was opened by Austria’s Green party as its leader, Eva Glawischnig, received insults on Facebook. The Austrian court ruled that the hate posts must be deleted across the platform and not just in Austria. This win comes timely as legislators across Europe are considering ways on how to force Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media sites to remove hate speech from this medium.
Eva Glawischnig is a cretinous piece of anti democratic totalitarian shit who should be hung from a lamppost,,Delete that— Ambassador uk WPLO (@WPLOUkambassado) May 8, 2017
The court said that this process can be easily automated by Facebook. In response, Facebook said that it would hire 3,000 people to “help stop hate speech, child abuse and self-harm being broadcast on the website.”
“We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our viewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.
Google, on the other hand, said that it would be working on changes on how its core search engine works. This would help stop the spread of fake news and hate speech.
According to a report by CNBC, the Greens also want Facebook to pay damages, making it easier for individuals affected to take the financial risk of taking legal action.
“Facebook must put up with the accusation that it is the world’s biggest platform for hate and that it is doing nothing against this,” said Green parliamentarian Dieter Brosz.
The Greens aims to strengthen the ruling and bring it to Austria’s highest court. They want to demand that Facebook remove similar postings and also to identify holders of fake accounts.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]