Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Facebook promised to remove “sensitive” ads. Here’s what it left behind.
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 7, 2021, 1:34 p.m.
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   October 7, 2021

On August 3, 2018, Facebook went down for 45 minutes. That’s a little baby outage compared to the one this week, when, on October 4, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down for more than five hours. Three years ago, the 45-minute Facebook break was enough to get people to go read news elsewhere, Chartbeat‘s Josh Schwartz wrote for us at the time.

So what happened this time around? For a whopping five-hours-plus, people read news, according to data Chartbeat gave us this week from its thousands of publisher clients across 60 countries.. (And they went to Twitter; Chartbeat saw Twitter traffic up 72%. If Bad Art Friend had been published on the same day as the Facebook outage, Twitter would have literally exploded, presumably.)

At the peak of the outage — around 3 p.m. ET — net traffic to pages across the web was up by 38% compared to the same time the previous week, Chartbeat found.

By the way, here’s how Chartbeat defines direct traffic and dark social, from CMO Jill Nicholson.

And here’s a question a bunch of people had. We’ll update this post when we know!

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Facebook promised to remove “sensitive” ads. Here’s what it left behind.
Facebook pledged to remove race, health conditions, and political affiliation from ad-targeting options, but The Markup found advertisers can still easily target the same people.
Ukraine’s information war is winning hearts and minds in the West
“Ukraine’s successful strategy in the battle over information demonstrates the connection between armed conflict and information warfare.”
Factchequeado launches to combat misinformation in Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.
“One of our approaches here is thinking if we manage [to get] platforms and the companies to put attention into Spanish-language misinformation in the U.S., that is going to benefit our regions in the long term.”