Why Facebook’s epic crash should change everything

It’s time to stop depending on Facebook platforms. Here’s what we should all do instead.

Facebook deplatformed itself today.

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp vanished from the Internet for hours. At the time I posted this newsletter, they were all still down.

Facebook's DNS records were withdrawn this morning from the global routing tables, which tell browsers and apps where to go when you type in facebook.com or instagram.com in your browser. At newsletter time, the reason was unknown.

Comically, the domain facebook.com became available for sale on some domain name sites.

The crash came less than 24 hours after a 60 minutes did an expose on Facebook’s response to internal reports showing the social network is a major purveyor of hate speech, political disinformation and other noxious content — which is to bury and hide the reports, not to fix the problem. 

Sites like Down Right Now and Cloudflare are buckling under the load of people trying to find out what happened and also trying to load the Facebook sites. Facebook employees and others who use a facebook.com email address could not send or receive email during the outage. 

This is a big deal in the United States, but a much bigger deal abroad. I know many people in Europe and Latin America who use Facebook properties exclusively.

The disparity between Americans and non-Americans is especially acute with WhatsApp, which isn’t central to the communication habits of most Americans but which is the exclusive messaging app used by many millions of people abroad. To a huge number of people, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp IS the internet — they pretty much use nothing else. 

A large number of them don’t know or don’t really care that Facebook owns all of them. 

The outage is a perfect moment to pause and reflect on how we all use Facebook platforms. 

Read the rest

Mike’s List of Brilliantly Bad Ideas

1. Drone light show in China fails; drones drop out of the sky

A drone light show performed over the center of the Chinese city of Zhengzhou Friday ended in disaster as dead drones rained down on spectators. The show consisted of around 200 drones that were forming the name of a local mall in the sky. Suddenly, dozens of them went dark and fell. The cause of the failure, which could have been a glitch or sabotage of some kind, is presently unknown.

2. Trick or treat. Smell my feet. These flipflops smell like chocolate!

Oreo cookie-themed Havaianas have chocolate-scented straps, for some reason.

3. Billionaires with their own space programs get eviscerated on SNL

The writers of this sketch are really dialed in to the details. I love this.


Mike’s List of Shameless Self Promotions

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

  1. Eight surprising ways remote work helps business

  2. Why cyber security demands that nothing and nobody is trusted. Ever.

  3. How to build a winning cyber security resume

CURRENT LOCATION: Silicon Valley, California