On October 4th, 2021, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and affiliated social media applications experienced a global outage, resulting in an estimated $60 million in lost revenue and a $47 billion reduction in market cap. It's harder to project the loss to individuals and commercial advertisers, but it's undoubtedly massive. What caused everything to fail? Excessive centralization of Web services. Facebook's parent company, Meta, made its myriad communication networks vulnerable to a simple misconfigured Domain Name System (DNS) record.
Worse, Meta's fiscally disastrous global outage came on the heels of whistleblower Frances Haugen's disclosure of damning internal documents. These documents show how Meta knowingly provides addictive services that are harming about 360 million people. Meta's social media platforms facilitate political and religious violence, sow division for profit, promote stolen content, routinely betray user privacy agreements, and cause psychological harm to children. Indeed, it's fair to ask how many murders have been streamed on Facebook Live.
The evidence is clear. Unaccountable social media corporations have invaded our lives and weaponized our data to harm people in the pursuit of profit. They're not going to change as long as there's money to be made, so we have to take the Internet back. We have to build a better way to approach social media on our own.
The Internet Computer is a Better Way
Unlike Meta, Amazon, Google, or other Big Tech corporations, the Internet Computer has been designed like a public communication utility that harnesses the power of blockchain technology to run independently from traditional commercial cloud services. It extends the public Internet to host smart contracts so that individuals and organizations can build their own new and innovative services. The DFINITY Foundation exists solely to help develop the Internet Computer and advocate for a truly decentralized Web 3.0. It is a not-for-profit organization based in Zurich, Switzerland, and operates research centers in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Zurich.
Smaller, decentralized Web services, distinct from the Internet Computer, will be easier to hold accountable — and no one will be able to monopolize the Internet Computer's networks. In fact, DSCVR, like many of the emerging social media platforms on the Internet Computer, is democratically governed by its users. Other examples include distrikt, Capsule Social, and OpenChat.
So why stick with Big Tech services? It's time to gradually start weaning off problematic social media platforms to build a more inclusive, innovative future that prioritizes human beings over profit. Your Internet identity is secured against advertisers, hackers, and other malicious agents on the Internet Computer. With you, the next social media revolution begins now!
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