Yesterday, somewhere in the sixth hour of the interruption of Facebook, I sat down in the voice of my colleagues The Verge. We wondered how the largest and most influential technology company in the world could have a one-day break in the service, and basically say nothing about it, except for short and encrypted twittering. Eventually, Facebook said the interruption was the result of a "server configuration change" – an incomprehensible combination of words that translates as "we played ourselves".
The New York Times and others tried to get more information from Facebook when they follow comments. Following the statement on Facebook today, we asked the company to explain more about the interruption, including the real scope of the problem. How many countries have this affected? How many people have been violated? Facebook ignored our questions by referring us to his common statement and apology. This is even a good joke story for Facebook. But what if we took Facebook seriously? What if, as an experiment, we have graciously accepted all the things that Facebook says about itself, are they true? Here is a short list of some of Facebook's beliefs about itself:
- Just last week, Facebook's chief global security officer told Business Insider that it was "a critical infrastructure for modern democracy."
- In its Facebook manifesto in 201
- In his letter before the IPO in 2012, Zuckerberg said: "Originally Facebook was not set up to be a company. It is built to fulfill a social mission – to make the world more open and connected. "He continues to say," We do not build services to make money; we make money to build better services. "
This is just (very) a small sample of the huge set of beliefs Facebook has built around itself over the past decade. And if we assume that they are all true – that Facebook is really the critical infrastructure for modern democracy – how could it be appropriate for this critical infrastructure to decline for so long without offering a significant degree of transparency about what happened? Can a platform that makes the world more open and connected to succeed in its mission if it is not open to the world that depends on it? No, of course not.
The most worrying thing about Facebook's silencing in the record is that the company has once been known for its legendary obsession with time. I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg is frightened about the break and that his engineers are paying for him right now. But if Facebook can not even be honest and impending with us on the most basic and urgent facts about its very existence, how can we trust it? How can someone take it seriously?