Facebook takes over the Internet

It's here, like it or not. UPI/John Angelillo
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.


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.

"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.

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."


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.

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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