Silicon Valley oligarchs hold immense power.
That was made abundantly clear during the 2020 election.
And one glitch just showed the dangers of Big Tech monopolies.
A cloud services company called Fastly caused a huge stir when they experienced an outage.
Because many companies use their services, some of the biggest websites in the world were shut down for an extended period of time.
“[M]ultiple popular internet websites including Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest, and more went offline due to a major outage at a service called Fastly. CNET reports that at around 2:58 a.m. PT, Fastly noted on its status update page that the service was experiencing issues, stating: ‘we’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN [content delivery network] services.’ Shortly afterward, reports appeared on Twitter that major publications such as the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times were experiencing outages. Twitter itself was still running but the server hosting Twitter’s emojis went down.”
Even the UK government website was down as a result of the service outage.
This Fastly glitch is a stark example of how much control these Big Tech companies have over everyone’s lives.
The New York Times and the government of the UK were shut down for an hour.
Corinne Cath-Speth, a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute, outlined the problem in a tweet thread:
This means that a technical hiccup in a single company can have huge ramifications.
This in turn–raises major questions about the dangers of (power) consolidation in the cloud market & the unquestioned influence these often invisible actors have over access to information. 8/9
— Dr. Corinne Cath-Speth (@C___CS) June 8, 2021
Twitter competitor Parler found this lesson out in a much more brutal fashion when Apple, Google, and Amazon colluded to digitally take them out.
Apple and Google – who dominate the smartphone space – removed Parler from their app stores, and Amazon yanked their web hosting services.
These giant tech companies need competition to keep them honest, and perhaps this alarming data points will expose an opportunity in the market.
Massive communication infrastructure should not be beholden to the whims of one or two companies.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.