Facebook suffered a massive global outage on Monday that shut down its main site, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms for about six hours, and a prominent social media critic said the incident proves just how controlled the company really is.
“It is now more evident than ever how powerful they are, their impact on our economy, their potential impact on national security, and the reality is that we have to start using this tool and regulating it as if it were. a utility, âformer Google consultant Joe Toscano told Fox News Digital.
Toscano, a key figure in Netflix’s popular documentary “The Social Dilemma,” which details the negative impact big tech can have on people, noted that small and medium-sized businesses have been primarily affected by the global Facebook outage. while the conglomerates have not missed one. .
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âThink of the millions of businesses that use their Facebook page as a webpage. All over South America, businesses are using WhatsApp instead of getting a phone number,â Toscano said. âNot all of these businesses were able to communicate for a day. Millions of businesses that have been shut down almost entirely, or have been shut down entirely, around the world, because a business is so powerful that if they go down down, everyone breaks down. ”
Toscano believes that Facebook is more powerful than other monopolies such as AT&T of the 1980s and the railroads before that, because the product is both addicting and global.
“We are now looking at one of the biggest monopolies in the history of the world. They are global, and then their fall creates catastrophic problems for the world, doesn’t it? Not just for the United States,” he said. declared Toscano. âMuch of the world had terrible anxiety because they just couldn’t open an app. That’s how addicted we are.â
Meanwhile, Facebook’s six-hour outage wasn’t the tech giant’s only problem this week.
Toscano has warned viewers of the dangers of social media throughout Netflix’s âThe Social Dilemmaâ and he believes the documentary has actually made a difference and allowed people like the former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, to speak.
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Haugen, a former civic project manager for Facebook’s disinformation team who leaked internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal for a series of reports on the social media giant, told lawmakers on Tuesday that she thought his former employer was a “national security concern”.
Haugen has also filed complaints with federal law enforcement that Facebook’s own research shows how it amplifies hate and misinformation, leads to increased polarization, and that Instagram, in particular, can harm mental health. teenage girls.
Some have been skeptical of Haugen’s platform, including journalist Glenn Greenwald, who believes it is being used as a tool to end content that “offends the sensibilities and beliefs of Democratic Party leaders and their liberal supporters. “.
However, Toscano believes that politics should be put aside so that people can truly realize the harm Facebook is doing to both children and our democracy.
âI think she’s doing the right thing. And in reality, she’s just saying the same thing I’ve been saying and others have been saying for over five years,â Toscano said. “I would love to see the government start to turn its head and focus on the things that we know are harming our children, harming our communities, destroying our democracy bit by bit for gross profit and at large ladder. .”
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Toscano believes Haugen, with documents to back up his arguments, supports the increases set out in “The Social Dilemma” on the dangers of social media behemoths such as Facebook.
âWe are only calcifying the truth right now. We are adding layers and we are seeing the same points made by the experts come back over and over again and this is what we need. We need repeated validation over and over again. time, âhe said. “She testified. It’s now in the book, it’s now official. We have another layer of tapes saying what’s going onâ¦ The audience needs to know it’s real.”
Toscano co-founded the Better Ethics and Consumer Outcomes Network (BEACON) organization which aims to âadvance the quality of human-machine experiences through values-based technological education and innovationâ. He plans to launch Pulse Policy later this year, which he says will further help people online with data protection measures.
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Fox News’ Caitlin McFall, Lucas Manfredi and Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.