Facebook down and you ain’t seen nothing yet

The New York Times:

Facebook and all of its apps go down simultaneously.

“The impact was immediate and global. Facebook has built itself into a linchpin platform with messaging, livestreaming, virtual reality and many other digital services. In some countries, like Myanmar and India, Facebook is synonymous with the internet. More than 3.5 billion people around the world use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, distribute political messaging, and expand their businesses through advertising and outreach.”

“The fallout also cascaded, because Facebook is used to sign in to many other apps and services. That led to unexpected domino effects such as people not being able to log into shopping websites or sign into their smart TVs, thermostats and other internet-connected devices.” (…)

“This time, the cause of the outage remained unclear. It was unlikely that a cyberattack was the culprit because a hack generally does not affect so many apps at once, said two members of Facebook’s security team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Security experts said the problem most likely stemmed instead from a misconfiguration of Facebook’s server computers, which were not letting people connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp.” (…)

“The outage adds to Facebook’s mounting difficulties. For weeks, the company has been under fire from a whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who amassed thousands of pages of internal research. She has since distributed the cache to the news media, lawmakers and regulators, revealing that Facebook knew of many harms that its services were causing, including that Instagram made teenage girls feel worse about themselves.” (…)

““With Facebook being down we’re losing thousands in sales,” said Mark Donnelly, a start-up founder in Ireland who runs HUH Clothing, a fashion brand focused on mental health that uses Facebook and Instagram to reach customers. “It may not sound like a lot to others, but missing out on four or five hours of sales could be the difference between paying the electricity bill or rent for the month.””

“Samir Munir, who owns a food-delivery service in Delhi, said he was unable to reach clients or fulfill orders because he runs the business through his Facebook page and takes orders through WhatsApp.”

““Everything is down, my whole business is down,” he said.”

“Douglas Veney, a gamer in Cleveland who goes by GoodGameBro and who is paid by viewers and subscribers on Facebook Gaming, added, “It’s hard when your primary platform for income for a lot of people goes down.” He called the situation “scary.””

So, you evil punks in Big Tech, ask yourself this: do you feel lucky about no hypersonic missiles hitting your servers if Washington defends Taiwan after China attacks the island?

Global Times:

UPDATE: PLA sends ‘record-breaking 56 aircraft near Taiwan island in a single day’ in consecutive drills

“At least 149 PLA warplanes have joined exercises near the island of Taiwan since the start of the National Day holiday on Friday, during both days and nights, according to releases by the island’s defense authorities.” (…)

“Monday’s exercise came after the US Department of State released a press statement on Sunday, voicing “concern” over the Chinese mainland’s military activity near the island of Taiwan, claiming it was provocative.”

“In response to the statement, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson from China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that Taiwan is part of China, and the US has no right to make irresponsible comments on the Taiwan question.”

“The US statement severely violates the one-China principle and three China-US joint communiqués, and sends very wrong and irresponsible signals, Hua said, noting that the US has been making aggressive moves including arms sales to Taiwan, landing military aircraft on the island and sending warships through the Taiwan Straits.”

“China will take all measures necessary to crush any “Taiwan independence” attempts, Hua said. “‘Taiwan independence’ is doomed to fail.”” (…)

“More PLA aircraft and vessels will train near the island, increasing preparedness to carry out missions to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity should it become necessary, the expert said.”

“According to monitoring by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing-based think tank, the US, the UK, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand recently held multinational joint naval drills in the Philippines Sea, involving three aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson, the USS Ronald Reagan and the HMS Queen Elizabeth.”

“Citing commercial satellite imagery, the SCSPI said that the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Monday sailed through the Bashi Channel, located to the south of the island of Taiwan, into the South China Sea, likely together with the USS Carl Vinson, as an aircraft based on the US carrier was also spotted.”

In Cold War 2, chip fabs are the new nuclear enrichment facilities. Stuxnet. Assassinated nuclear scientists in Iran. That’s a scary precedent.

If China attacks Taiwan the neoliberal world order is officially dead. Global trade and supply chains probably evaporate the moment a missile hits Taiwan. After that, with little or nothing to lose, CCP (and eventually Russia) may therefore go all in and try to destroy the entire digital infrastructure of the neoliberal world order. That’s not extreme from the viewpoint of a party that views the situation in Xinjiang as “normal” in a perceived national emergency.

There seem to be only four explanations for why CCP escalates warplane exercises near Taiwan:

1) PLA is so uneducated, historyless and naive as to believe that a practically self-declared independent country is going to give up its de facto new independence just because their enemy deploys warplanes nearby. Nazi Germany and Japan did not surrender when the Allies started conventional terror bombing over Tokyo and Dresden for example. Military exercises near Taiwan will therefore have no effect. Boots on the ground are necessary.

2) PLA is willing to risk its reputation as a credible military force by just flying endlessly around Taiwan, eventually looking like fools, all bark, no bite.

3) CCP is using Taiwan as a bargaining chip, saying to Washington: “Give us access to cutting-edge semiconductors or we attack Taiwan”. But CCP knows that threats don’t work. You don’t give your best weapon to your main enemy after he threatens you with war.

4) Beijing is getting ready to attack Taiwan.

3.5 billion Facebook addicts therefore risk having no or little Internet. Bye bye Youtube. Streaming services down. Probably no more Joe Rogan, Tim Pool or Jimmy Dore Show if the Taiwan War escalates until the first hypersonic missile lands in Japan or South Korea.

Black screens

Are neoliberal tech elites ready for a grand reset to an era prior to 4IR (fourth industrial revolution)? We cultural conservatives remember how good life was prior to 1995, only 25 years ago, so we are ready for whatever is coming. But neoliberal elites will never take any action that may annihilate 4IR. Hawks in the West have therefore no credibility no matter how much they talk about the “strategic importance” of Taiwan. The island is basically just an island after its chip fabs have been blown up. Its geopolitical position will then not have enough value to risk starting WW3. Taiwan is not Cuba. It’s not near the US.

But I’m just red teaming here on drone-surveillance.info. It’s very easy to envisage all kinds of war scenarios when being an armchair strategist. But war gaming isn’t reality. International politics involves so many tiny cogs in an extremely complex and chaotic system that one should not assume that developments follow an almost predetermined trajectory once certain things appear to line up in a way that easily leads to war. Maybe Xi suffers a natural heart attack tomorrow. Maybe he suddenly becomes a Daoist. Perhaps Elon Musk invents a deus ex machina next Tuesday, saving Earth and we all live happily ever after.

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