Reports began coming in last night that Facebook is down, at least for some users. Many people in the area surrounding Indonesia have reported their social media isn’t working properly. Reports came in also that Instagram is down in the region as well. These reports began to surface after the Jakarta riots broke out, leading many people to believe the social media platforms have been purposely shut down in the country.
Facebook is perhaps the most well known social media platform in the world. It has become the standard means of communication between distant family members and friends. However, that communication appears to be at least temporarily severed for some users, who have said that Facebook is down for them. Facebook owns WhatsApp, an SMS application that allows users to share photos and videos from their phone. It appears that WhatsApp is also out of commission for the moment. The WhatsApp outage appears to focus on Malaysia and Indonesia.
If Facebook is the most popular communication platform, then Instagram is the most widely used media sharing platform. However, users around the world are reporting that Instagram is down for them. According to Piunika Web, users say they either cannot upload photos to Instagram or that the service will not load at all on their device. The Instagram outage has affected people around the world, including within the United States.
Jakarta Riots May Be Cause Of Outage
Soon after the reports of social media outages began coming in reports of rioting in Jakarta surfaced. It is believed that the Jakarta riots could be responsible for the shutdown in social media communication. All of these platforms are controlled by Facebook, and it seems fairly obvious that the tech giant has shut down social media links within Indonesia as a direct response to the riots.
In response to queries regarding Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp being down, the social media giant said, “we are aware of the ongoing security situation in Jakarta and have been responsive to the Government of Indonesia. We are committed to maintaining all of our services for people who rely on them to communicate with their loved ones and access vital information.”
This episode leaves many people wondering who really controls the information they receive. If Facebook can effectively kill off social media communications from an entire region of the world, what else are they capable of. While many users just assumed that Facebook was down for them alone, now that the bigger picture reveals Instagram is down as well as WhatsApp for users across the region, it appears something bigger is working here. It leads the question of just how much Facebook does to control information flow in times of crisis or emergency. Perhaps it is time to reconsider our ties with a company that is willing to prevent photos and reports of news that is happening from leaving the geographic area it is local to. Maybe Facebook has just a little bit too much power over the information we receive each day.