Nowadays, I’d say my phone is more important than my pinky, with my pinky elevating its status from “Chief Nose Picking Addendum” to “Mobile Technology Grip Reinforcement Phalanx”.
So when Facebook and IG were down yesterday, you can bet I wanted to riot.
I need to read – uh hum – news, and I need it now!
Well, not really, since I use other forms of social media, but I can understand other people’s feelings for wanting to.
Especially if you feel like the following is a bit creepy knowing it’s AI-generated from your photos.
In case you can’t read the words, those are descriptions of what’s in the photos, like “Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup and indoor”.
The outage affected Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Twitter
This early morning, Facebook tweeted out the message that their service seemed to be experiencing some trouble.
We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. We're sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. #facebookdown
— Facebook (@facebook) July 3, 2019
Now, FB, IG, Whatsapp are owned by FB, but Twitter isn’t. Yet, Twitter also seemed to have experienced some kind of trouble with direct messaging and notifications.
We're currently having some issues with DM delivery and notifications. We're working on a fix and will follow up as soon as we have an update for you. Apologies for the inconvenience.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 3, 2019
It’s unclear what really caused the problems, but it got resolved relatively quick later on. On Facebook for developers, the problem is reported as a bug for ‘Cannot get profile picture from the URL’.
Earlier today, some people and businesses experienced trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps and platforms. The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100% for everyone. We're sorry for any inconvenience.
— Facebook (@facebook) July 4, 2019
We're almost at 100% resolved. There may be some residual effects for a small group of people, but overall your DMs should be working properly now. We appreciate your patience!
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 3, 2019
It reveals what Facebook does with our pics
Since it shows the description of the pics, it basically revealed what kind of information FB scans from them to then possibility sell to advertisers.
Today's Facebook/Instagram image outage inadvertently provides a look into how FB automatically parses our personal images and stores additional information about what's in them. I'm guessing it's all then anonymized and passed on to advertisers to help with targeting? pic.twitter.com/mf5schNPCv
— Anna Tulchinskaya (@chka) July 3, 2019
Hilariously, a tag of women standing together, happens to be tagged “hoes”. It is unknown whether an actual hoe (the farming tool) is in the original pic, or if it’s a somehow typo-ed ‘shoes’ (by the clearly superior computer race? impossible!).
— Danielle Abril (@DanielleDigest) July 3, 2019
Understandably, some of you might be creeped out. Relax.
It’s a technology there all along, and it helps disabled people
Basically, these are image titles for screen readers to describe the pictures to blind people, and that technology was already there back in 2016. It’s part of Americans with Disabilities Act, which “state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.”
Supermarkets, Domino’s Pizza, and even universities like Harvard and MIT have actually been sued for ADA non-compliance before, so a target like FB is basically an even juicier target if they don’t comply to ADA.
Of course, it doesn’t change the potential for the data to be used for other purposes. And if you’re using Facebook, you are probably aware that Facebook takes a lot of your data already.
Or, well… if you’re not, then now you know and might want to reconsider your use of social media. They‘re always watching you.
Look into the eyes of Mark Zuckerberg and watch how he smiles.
Is this not how an android smiles?
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