Facebook's hold is fragile

Yesterday was a whirlwind for me, taking care of personal stuff unrelated to Micro.blog, and I don’t think I really appreciated the 6-hour Facebook downtime until last night, sitting down to watch CNN. Mistakes happen, and I’m sympathetic to Facebook engineers who had to scramble, but this is the cost if you want your platform to have 3 billion users and essentially be the web for so many people.

Facebook is (obviously) too big. Their week is about to get worse, with whistleblower Frances Haugen testifying in Congress today. It feels like the culmination of years of reputation-destroying bad PR on privacy and misinformation.

In 2018 I blogged that breaking up Facebook is up to us. Facebook’s business is more fragile than I even realized. Their problems are baked into the product design, maybe unfixable at this extreme scale.

Yesterday the world got a glimpse of what 6 hours without Facebook and Instagram looks like. It was disruptive for many businesses and many friends just trying to connect… but it was also fine. More like this, please.

Manton Reece @manton