Facebook must ‘come clean’ and be held ‘publicly accountable’ following mass outage

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On Monday, an outage hit FaceBook, WhatsApp and Instagram for over six hours, preventing the company’s 3.5 billion users from gaining access. The widespread outage has stirred questions about how much information the company is withholding.

Dr Ramesh Srinivasan, professor at UCLA’s Department of Information Studies, is a former engineer and designer and an expert in the relationship between technology, politics and companies.

The tech expert told the Express.co.uk many “suspicions” came to light during the FaceBook outage.

“The Facebook outage is just one of many examples that illustrate how hidden from plain sight [social networks] really are. And this is not just true with Facebook,” he said.

“They don’t disclose what they collect about us, they don’t disclose what data they keep about us, for how long.

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“They don’t disclose the psychological and psychographic models they have of our own identity, and they don’t really give us much of an opportunity to have agency or power over influencing what we end up seeing.”

The outage was apparently caused by a networking issue, with Facebook going down due the “faulty configuration change” which means it stopped telling routers where its data centres were.

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologised about the outage in a statement.

“Sorry for the disruption today – I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” he said.

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Facebook has said that it did not believe the outage was caused by an external attack.

However, Dr Srinivasan stated the outage has made people look into Facebook and other social media and how accountable the network is.

“It’s been understood by every major tech company that uses, quote, unquote personalization algorithms that they can keep us keep our attention, if not addiction, keep us locked in and stimulate us get the dopamine to be released in our brains based on they can design their platforms in such a way,” he told the Express.co.uk.

“I think that it’s time now once and for all for FaceBook to give up some power and to recognize that they can continue to be a thriving business while being truly publicly accountable.”

“It’s up to them to come clean and come to the table in a good faith way,” Dr Srinivasan continued.

“Facebook is symptomatic of a much larger problem that exists across many technology platforms and companies.”

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