Wednesday October 16, 2019
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Facebook, Instagram Suffer Total Outage in UK

The company acknowledged the service interruption via Twitter, but ruled out a possibility resulting from a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attack, on its platform or servers

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook and Instagram suffered a total outage in the UK and in some parts of Europe as thousands of users went on to Twitter to complain about not being able to use the social media platforms.

According to Downdetector website which monitors online outages, 66 per cent users reported a “total blackout”, with 23 per cent claiming they were unable to log in late Friday.

Both the platforms were reported to be back in action on Saturday morning.

“#facebookdown across #europe the end is nigh #brexit is here,” tweeted one user.

“Checking the Facebook status… Definitely down,” posted another.

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FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Some people reported that Facebook-owned Instagram was also down.

Facebook was yet to comment.

In March, Facebook blamed a server configuration change that caused the outage of its app along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

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Facebook users worldwide reported problems logging into their accounts, sharing posts on its website and Instagram and not being able to refresh feeds or post new files using the social media giant’s family of apps.

The company acknowledged the service interruption via Twitter, but ruled out a possibility resulting from a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attack, on its platform or servers. (IANS)

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Facebook Raises Questions Over EU Ruling on Removing Content

In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a "very troubling precedent"

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has raised objections over the European Union (EU) ruling that the bloc’s member countries can not only order the removal of content in their own jurisdiction, but all over the world.

According to the social networking giant, the ruling opens the door for courts to order the removal of content that is similar to the illegal speech, “meaning that something you posted might be removed even if you knew nothing about the earlier post that a European country had deemed illegal”.

“Imagine something you wrote and shared on Facebook was taken down, not because it violated our rules, and not because it broke the law in your country, but because someone was able to use different laws in another country to have it removed,” Monika Bickert, VP, Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a statement on Monday.

“Imagine as well that your speech was deemed illegal not by a judge who carefully weighed the facts, but by automated tools and technology,” she added.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Facebook can be forced to remove content internationally.

The ruling arose from a personal defamation case brought by an Austrian politician.

The post in question shared a news article in which the Austrian politician had outlined her and her party’s views on immigration, together with a comment from a Facebook user strongly critiquing the Austrian politician.

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

The court’s ruling raises critical questions for freedom of expression, in two key respects, said Bickert.

First, it undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on another country.

“This is especially important with laws governing speech, because what is legally acceptable varies considerably in different parts of the world and even within the EU. The ruling also opens the door for other countries around the world, including non-democratic countries who severely limit speech, to demand the same power,” said Facebook.

Second, the ruling might lead to a situation in which private internet companies could be forced to rely on automated technologies to police and remove “equivalent” illegal speech.

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In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a “very troubling precedent”.

“We have had precedents but we have successfully fought them. This is one where a lot of the details of exactly how this gets implemented are going to depend on national courts across Europe, and what they define as the same content versus roughly equivalent content.

“This is something we and other services will be litigating and getting clarity on what this means. I know we talk about free expression as a value and I thought this was a fairly troubling development,” Zuckerberg added. (IANS)