Facebook shouldn’t have a monopoly on social media
October 14, 2021
With the recent Facebook outage devastating many people financially, it’s time to regulate how many apps Facebook has control over.
With the social media outage in the past week, many people have had to realize the impact apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have on people’s everyday lives.
According to the New York Times, 2.76 billion people use a Facebook product every day. People’s reliance on these apps seems to have advanced rapidly over the past two decades.
Nowadays, the internet and social media are no longer just for leisure, but for making money.
Around the world, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are all Second hand to do business and online trading because it is cheap and easy to use. When there was an outage last week, many people around the world were unable to keep their stores open and lost a business day.
The internet is no longer a choice in people’s lives and it shows how some countries suffered more than others last week.
Doctors in India were unable to communicate with their teams for relying on WhatsApp to send information, according to NBC News. In Malaysia, a mother and her son didn’t know how to do it open her shop since it was mainly operated via WhatsApp.
While the outage from Facebook was met with annoyance and described as a minor inconvenience for Americans, it has not been the case for many people around the world.
In other countries, People rely on these apps to run their jobs, business, daily conversations, and more. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are the backbone of many people’s income. When these apps fail, users suffer financially.
When the most used social media apps are a trio owned by the same man that creates problems. As of 2019, four of the most downloaded apps are owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
This monopoly on social media apps creates a dangerous dependency that has the potential to damage a country’s economy in the long term. If a five-hour outage leads to panic and economic loss in countries, an outage of days or even weeks could be catastrophic.
A lot of people don’t know how much power Facebook has. The power manifests itself in the possession of the data by millions of people around the world. With access to all of this data, Facebook not only has control over users’ personal information, but also the power to influence opinions.
Facebook has been around since Push politics on people’s feeds, which led Zuckerberg to explain. In 2020 he promised do less politics displayed in user feeds.
With this in mind, Facebook and its sibling apps are playing a bigger role in people’s lives than ever before. A few years ago they were called entertainment apps that you should keep in touch with your friends and family. However, these apps can now be seen in companies, hospitals and larger institutions.
To prevent a failure like last week, there should be regulations against Zuckerberg’s monopoly for social media apps. If much of the world didn’t rely on a single company, the effects of failure wouldn’t be so extreme.
Cindy Rivas Alfaro is new to journalism and can be reached at [email protected]