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Facebook takes over the Internet

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
Facebook takes over the Internet
It's here, like it or not. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

We knew Facebook was big.

Now we know it's completely taken over, and there's nothing we can do about it.

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The scope of the giant social network became abundantly, frighteningly clear when a bug in the Facebook Connect system managed to break the whole Internet for a brief moment Thursday night.

For somewhere between 10 and 25 minutes, people trying to access dozens of high-profile sites--Hulu, Pinterest, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and more--were instead sent to a Facebook error page.

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"An error occurred. Please try again later."

The trouble was a bug affecting Facebook Connect, the ubiquitous log-in system that allows users to access third-party sites with their Facebook identity.

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Anyone who was logged into Facebook (which, let's face it, with more than a billion users, is most of us) was redirected from the website they wanted to be through the Facebook Connect API to an error page.

Facebook issued a brief statement, offering little by way of explanation or apology. {q:"For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third party sites. The issue was quickly resolved and Login with Facebook is now working as usual."

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Connect is billed as a convenience for the user--you don't have to bother typing in all your information every time you visit a new site, plus it makes it much easier to share content on an existing social network--but Thursday's outage displayed the dark underbelly of Facebook's enormous digital sprawl.

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Facebook doesn't release the specific numbers related to Facebook Connect, but it's estimated that, on average, 10,000 websites per day integrate with the system--likely totaling more around 10 million sites.

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