Why Facebook tracks internet outages around the world

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It is possible that governments and companies, which can turn off the several parts of the internet. Places in some countries like Egypt, Gabon have already witnessed internet blocks across the country and similarly, the government in India has also turned off the internet during the examinations of Students.

A social media giant Facebook has tracked such activities and internal monitoring along with the people on the field helps the company to find out such outages.

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Global head of policy at Facebook, Matt Perault had started the investigation in January 2011 and had also witnessed the widespread internet blacked-out in Egypt for halting the protests.

And he also observed that Internet outages were performed frequently on a smaller scale after the country-wide internet outage. In last week Perault said:

“We felt they weren’t getting the attention they deserved. So we work with a bunch of organizations to try and bring attention to this issue.”

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However, it does not means that you will lose access to Facebook. For example, he gave reference to a report which indicated the temporary internet shutdowns and costs almost $2.4 billion in 2015.

The Internet can be divided into three different layers as follows:

  • The actual infrastructure that powers internet
  • Cables and satellites
  • There’s the protocol, which includes things like web hosts and providers, and then there are applications, like Facebook
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Recently, in China, the great firewall turned off all types contents such as Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times. In Gabon, the internet outages in the night had prevented people from connecting to any website.

Perault said:

“The problem is not the technology from a ‘turn off the entire internet perspective. But the technology has gotten more advanced in creating methods to impose a less costly block. My main concern right now is moving to the world where there are increasingly sophisticated small-scale blocks,”

Facebook worked with other organizations including Global Network Initiative to find out the internet outages and delivered them to a large number of peoples.

Almost 4 out od 5 facebook users have been outside of the U.S and due to which they may face the internet outage.

Therefore, Facebook needs to track out the areas where internet block happens, which is indeed good for business.

Facebook said:

“Aware of at least 48 times in 2016 when access to Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram was disrupted. This includes both targeted disruptions, as well those impacting the entire Internet. One of the most significant outages that it’s tracking right now is in certain regions of Cameroon, where it said internet connectivity has been down for 50 days.

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07eb062daa4934b44ff797d5099d61ea - Why Facebook tracks internet outages around the world
Muhammad Irfan Raza
Irfan Raza is Editor at TechWafer covering Everything about Apple including Mac, iPhones, iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook, and How-tos.

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