The real story behind Facebook’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, by Kit Knightly

If the government regulates Facebook and the rest of the Internet do you think that will expand or contract allowable expression on the Internet? From Kit Knightly at off-guardian.org:

The social media giant is in the crosshairs, and that might be bad news for the internet in general.

Facebook suffered a massive outage on Monday. At the same time a high profile “whistleblower” has come forward to dish the FB dirt. These two things have combined to create a perfect storm of narrative portraying Mark Zuckerberg’s company as a monster in desperate need of slaying by some deft government intervention.

But to what extent is that story contrived? Is Facebook willingly going along with it? And what does it mean for the rest of the internet?

What happened?

For several hours on Monday afternoon Facebook – and its subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp – were completely offline. Rumours circulated that large portions of the social media giant had been totally deleted. Others suggested it was a cyber attack.

Facebook itself insists there was no attack, and that it was purely an engineering error, but of course no tech company would ever admit to being vulnerable to a hack.

There’s always the possibility the whole event was staged of course. Either way, the timing is very suspicious.

Why do you say that?

For weeks an anonymous “whistleblower” has been “leaking” documents to the Wall Street Journal allegedly showing Facebook is utilising highly unethical business practices.

The leaker of the so-called “Facebook Files” finally revealed her true identity as Frances Haugen, a data scientist, in an interview with 60 Minutes this past Sunday.

The massive Facebook outage then happened on Monday, with Ms Haugen’s scheduled testimony in front of Congress happening the following morning on Tuesday.

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