It’s September 11 again in the digital world, a catastrophe that struck and shaken one of its strongest pillars. The world is stunned, terrified and can’t believe what is happening. Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram have been suspended for more than six hours, piling up financial losses and leaving the world’s communication pioneers floundering in complete darkness.
The reasons for stopping Facebook have not yet been clearly and unambiguously revealed, and the technicians, as researchers, must find their sources later, but the most important question remains: Who embraced Facebook’s orphans in his absence, and how did its pioneers and the pioneers of its auxiliary sites bear this sudden departure? How did people live six hours without Facebook and Instagram and without WhatsApp???
Is it a terrorist cyber attack that hit America through one of its giants, or is it a penetration of the largest technology company in the world, or perhaps an intentional act by Zuckerberg to wrap up a scandal whose indicators are starting to loom? Many questions and their answers are revealed by specialists, as they reveal the repercussions of this “incident” that amount to a “disaster” on Facebook’s profits, its role as one of the largest companies in the world and its exclusive control in the world of communication. They also reveal how these misfortunes that befell Facebook and its affiliates have turned into benefits. When it comes to other communication companies, especially Twitter.
Facebook stopped working, explaining its reasons to “Nidaa Al-Watan”, the consultant in information security and digital transformation, Roland Abi Najem, saying: “The malfunction that occurred on Facebook the day before yesterday was determined, but the cause that led to it was not yet known. The malfunction affected what is known as the DNS, meaning The servers that Facebook uses to transfer users to other sites, but what is not known are the reasons that led to this failure: was it a hack, or problems caused by engineers who were making internal modifications? From the company”. Abi Najem adds: “There have been problems in Facebook previously, but it is the first time that the company’s platforms, which are Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, have stopped for about six hours. Frances Hogan called on Sunday, October 3, in which she stated that “Facebook is prioritizing divisive content over safety, in order to reap higher profits.” When the site went down, one of its administrators denied these allegations.
According to MEAWW, Hogan leaked a set of internal Facebook documents to the Wall Street Journal, which led to the publication of a series of severe reports last month. It also sent documents to lawmakers and filed an application to protect whistleblowers with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the outage occurred on Monday October 4 in the afternoon, a day after Frances Hogan’s interview that appeared on “60 Minutes.” Twitter investigators took no time to connect the two incidents, accusing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of “deliberately” shutting down social media platforms to avoid “scandal”.
Scandals, losses and lawsuits
For his part, Abi Najem explains the repercussions of what happened, saying that about 3 billion people in the world use the platforms of Facebook, or nearly half of humanity, and from here it is possible to estimate the size of the disaster that has befallen. The financial losses that afflicted the company began with the spread of the scandal previously, but they increased dramatically with the cessation of Facebook, reaching more than 230 billion dollars, and the cessation was directly reflected on other technology companies. Al Sharq Business Technology has listed a table with the decline in the market values of major technology companies in today’s trading, amounting to 47 billion for Facebook, 58 billion for Apple, 37 billion for Google, 47 billion for Amazon and 45 billion for Microsoft.
Aside from financial losses, Facebook is under tremendous pressure from the US administration, which sees its exclusive control of this huge number of users as a danger to the reality of the Internet and communication, and the evidence is what happened yesterday. The Pentagon and the White House were most interested in what happened, and the US government had previously sought to break the exclusivity of Facebook, which has become stronger than all countries, and separate its affiliates from it and from each other. In fact, according to Meaww, Facebook is facing an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission that seeks to force the social media giant to restructure or sell assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp, over concerns that “Facebook has a monopoly on the power to provide users with online communication services.” Personal social networks in the United States have maintained this strength continuously since 2011.
In our contact with an official working for Google in Ireland, she told us that the reason for stopping Facebook seems so far to be technical due to engineering reasons and not contrived, as engineers from within the company were making modifications to some systems when the shutdown occurred. It is not possible to assess the results of what happened and its reflection on Facebook and other companies a few days ago, but what can be said that work to strengthen protection and security systems has already begun to fill all potential gaps, and what can be confirmed is that with every minute of stopping the company loses approximately $160,000 in advertising revenue, which relies on ads as a primary source of profit.
“Every wedding is a disc”
Lebanon, immersed in its crises, even the glut, did not lack a new catastrophe, whose sons revolted and took hundreds of thousands to the street when the authorities tried to harm the free WhatsApp, and suddenly found himself cut off from the world almost completely and immersed in a cyber darkness added to its electric darkness. At first, the Lebanese did not understand what was going on. They were beating their fingers on their phones for a quick “refresh” operation to put things right; Then, after the state of denial they were accustomed to, and when it became clear that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp had stopped, there was a real panic among the Lebanese, thinking that the worst had happened and the internet had stopped in Lebanon.
Social media expert Bashir Al-Tigriny summarizes what happened in Lebanon on Monday night, saying: A state of panic spread among the Lebanese when they confirmed that Facebook had stopped. They are afraid of losing it. They are the ones who have become addicted to social networking sites and suffer like others with what is known as FOMO or Fear of missing out, that is, the fear of being out of communication and missing some of what is happening around them. Soon, many users began to resort to downloading other applications to be an alternative to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp during their downtime. However, Al-Tigriny asserts that with the return of these applications to work, everyone will abandon the new applications that formed “instead of lost” because users, especially in Lebanon, are loyal to Facebook and Instagram, although many have tended to “Twitter” to know what is happening on the one hand and for entertainment and to meet their addiction. On social media on the other hand.
But while the fear of users in the world was focused on the loss of data, i.e. their personal information, especially that Facebook had previously been subjected to legal prosecutions as a result of a leak of users’ private information, the situation in Lebanon was different, as many were not affected by the loss of data that does not pose a threat to them, Rather, their fear stemmed from two main things: first, that many have commercial interests on Instagram and Facebook that they live off of and were afraid of losing them. And their families scattered around the world, from here many rushed to download applications such as Signal, Telegram and Viber to replace WhatsApp.
But if Mark Zuckerberg’s throne shook in the world, the hearts of the Lebanese were more shaken, as it became clear how addictive and attached to the communication sites are, after it became one of the few sources of pleasure left for them and the extent of the panic that hit them when they thought they lost it. Bashir Al-Tigrini asserts that Lebanon is considered, relative to its population, one of the countries whose people spend their time on social networking sites, especially on Facebook and Instagram, and with the constant threat of the internet being shut down, the “sight” was very heavy on them.
Gloating of enemies
The biggest laughter last night was Twitter, which witnessed an unprecedented crawl towards it, so that the site’s administration launched a tweet in which it said: “Welcome everyone, literally everyone,” which means that the site has become a refuge for all social media pioneers without exception. Likewise, the applications competing with Facebook received the forcibly displaced pioneers from the site, most notably Telegram, Signal, Viber and Facetime, so that it was difficult for some of them to absorb the number of new users coming to them and had to stop; For example, the number of Signal site users, which had 10 million users, increased to 50 million, forcing the site to stop due to its inability to absorb.
The Lebanese Twitter pioneers were yesterday as if they were the “mother of the boy.” The “mod” was at best bragging and joking, not gloating over the newcomers to them, but rather an affirmation of their good choices and their intellectual (and even technical) superiority. They are the ones who have always considered the Facebook group to be beginners in The world of politics, thought and the Instagram group as if they live in Laland. But in spite of these, many Lebanese preferred to have fun on YouTube or to communicate with each other through traditional massages, but with the I Message technology, and some even exchanged visits or met around the small screen at home.