I don’t normally have occasion to log on to Facebook during the day so I can’t say, for sure, what’s normal and what isn’t. But I tried yesterday and was surprised to find I couldn’t log on at all. Instead, I was sent to a page saying Facebook was down for routine maintenance. Really? In the middle of the day? A day you could have to scoop up more user data to use against your users? THAT’S when you schedule “routine maintenance?” That doesn’t seem right…
Elizabeth Warren put out a position that suggested the largest tech companies, like Facebook, should be broken up. She bought ads supporting the position – on Facebook. Facebook took the ads down. Well, for awhile, anyway. They claimed the ads violated Facebook’s terms by using the Facebook logo. Facebook was eventually forced to return the ads. Democrats were very upset. Apparently, they think it’s unfair as hell for an oversight organization to use it’s controlling position to affect the outcome of a campaign. They seem to have missed the irony entirely…
But Warren’s ads wouldn’t crash Facebook. Why would Facebook be down in the middle of a normal, data-collecting, profit-enhancing day?
“There are profits to be made, here, people! If our system is down and the Sheeple can’t log on we’re not going to – wait, what? Investigation? What investigation?”
So, as it happens, Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation of Facebook. Remember when Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to go rooting around in your private parts for profit? When they got caught, they promised (a standard, Facebook “promise”) that they’d never, ever, cross-our-hearts-hope-to-die do it again. English can be so tricky. Apparently, the “it” they promised to never do again was “get caught” but we were all supposed to think they meant they were going to stop sharing data with third parties.
I write these little missives in WordPress. They used to post automatically to my Facebook page. After Cambridge Analytica, that convenience was eliminated – you know, to “protect” me. Now I have to copy and paste the link if I want to reach people on Facebook. But it turns out, Facebook never cut off access to the big players in the data collection market. To quote from the Guardian: “Facebook gave companies including Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft, Sony and Amazon the ability to access user data long after it had stopped sharing data with most third-parties…”
Is it at all possible that Facebook was down in the middle of the day because so much had to be done to clean up the site so quickly they couldn’t do it under “normal” operating conditions?
Now, if you would all please take out your ‘Corporate Excuse Hymnal’ and turn to ‘Facebook.’ Please, recite with me; “We know you trusted us and we failed in our responsibility. In trying to provide the best user experience for you, we accidentally allowed people with ill-intent to use your data for profit. (Fanning his face) Oh, my! Why, I may just…swoon at the error! That’s on us and we’re looking into taking steps to correct the situation going forward…”
There, now. Don’t we all feel better?