With the entire Facebook network of social media sites down for most of the day Monday, social media users have scrambled to get their news, information, and laughs. The cause of the outages remained unknown as of Monday afternoon. But the impact could be felt as individuals and companies alike were rethinking contingency plans for moments like this.
Facebook’s several-hour outage could also be an opening for other social networking sites. Entertainment journalist Gary Hamilton tweeted that while all the other sites were struggling, BlackPlanet was still going strong.
BlackPlanet also took the opportunity to remind social media users that it’s still around.
A part of the Urban One family of digital sites, BlackPlanet is scheduled for an official relaunch. But the site tweeted Monday that it is ready for new users and old friends to come hang out online.
“BlackPlanet is rebooting because we recognize that this moment is an opportunity to come together,” reads the site. “Amid our society’s unveiling, this is a space for you to catch your wave and tap into opportunities.”
Some Twitter users wondered if their old BlackPlanet accounts were recoverable. Media and technology advocacy organization Media Justice also got in on the BlackPlanet fun Monday afternoon.
Media Justice is one of several organizations participating in a mass log out of Facebook on November 10, driving home the message that the social media giant needs to take heed of valid concerns raised over the platform’s governance.
The group also encouraged followers to watch the hearing Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Along with Media Justice, several accountability organizations used Facebook’s extended Monday outage to drive home the necessity of independent oversight.
Less than 24 hours after a whistleblower revealed her identity during a 60 Minutes interview and the day before her testimony before Congress, Facebook suddenly lost access to its DNS servers.
Nora Benavidez, senior counsel and director for digital justice & civil rights at Free Press, echoed the sentiments and said this is the time for the White House and Congress to prioritize meaningful oversight.
“While Facebook is down, it feels like a nice moment to say: hey, the platforms can’t really fix themselves,” tweeted Benavidez. “And we need Congress, the @WhiteHouse, and others to take action on *all this*. Let’s reel in the mess.”
Whether social media users move to other sites like a revitalized BlackPlanet, it is clear that social sites like Facebook cannot continue to go unchecked for much longer.