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Facebook down: Six hours without WhatsApp

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When Facebook went down, people around the world lost contact with their families, doctors, and governments. “My father is in intensive care in Malaysia being treated for Covid, and I rely on WhatsApp to communicate with family overseas,” says Anna Masing, who lives in London.

Some took to Twitter to complain about being unable to send and receive e-mails or make phone calls. However, the incident, which Facebook blamed on an internal technical issue, has highlighted the reliance on social media tools in everyday life, and in particular Facebook’s dominance. “Even in London, I can’t text or call internationally on my phone,” Ms. Masing says, describing Monday’s WhatsApp outage as “highly stressful.”

Chris Donnell, a dentist in the United Kingdom, stated that parts of his job frequently rely on WhatsApp communication. India has the most Facebook users more than 340 million, and WhatsApp is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, according to Nielsen’s World Internet Census 2014-15. India has the highest number of Facebook users more than 1.3 billion.

According to the research firm eMarketer, India has nearly 490 million active WhatsApp users.

WhatsApp launched a special directory last month in So Paulo, one of the world’s most populous cities. It allows users to search for local businesses and services, including some medical and food delivery providers. Doctor Marcato: WhatsApp is now the primary tool for follow-up after consultation.

A baker in Mexico City’s capital described her reaction to local media when her phone began ringing and vibrating from an influx of calls and messages from customers. “It’s insane,” Elizabeth Mustillo said, “no one ever calls anymore.”

The European Union’s internal market commissioner says Europeans need “fair competition” and “stronger connectivity”. Countries across Europe went dark, officials called for tighter regulation and measures to prevent technology behemoths from establishing monopolies.

 

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