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NewsFix: Tuesday October 5, 2021

NewsFix: Tuesday October 5, 2021

Morning all,

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger usually account for four of the five most used social media apps around the world. Usually….

Until tomorrow,



You know this already - for around six hours on Monday Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were all down across the globe. As The New York Times described it; ‘gone in minutes, out for hours’.

What happened? A “faulty configuration change”, according to Facebook. The company also said there is “no evidence that user data was compromised” during this time.

Worth noting: The issue also impacted internal systems at Facebook, meaning it was harder for employees to solve the issue - and highlighted just how reliant they are on one system to operate. For example, there are reports that some employees could not access their offices while the platform was down.

How was it fixed? Some media - citing an internal memo - said a number of employees were sent to the company’s Santa Clara data centre to “manually reset” the servers.

How much did it cost? Facebook’s share price fell 4.9% on Monday, meaning Mark Zuckerburg’s wealth decreased by more than $6 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

*Here is a link to Facebook’s full statement.

Bad week for Facebook: It comes off the back of a whistleblower - a former Facebook product manager - accusing the social media platform of putting profits ahead of protections for young people. Her accusations were presented with thousands of internal research documents, and she is due to testify in Congress today on the platform’s impact on young people.

How did the rest of the internet react? They had fun. Twitter celebrated everyone joining them, while Bonnie Tyler expressed her concerns.


Pandora Papers: The fallout continues. Before Facebook had a bad day, Monday’s top stories was the exposure of how the powerful and wealthy were secretly amassing their fortunes.

How much damage is it causing those implicated? Well, we’ll see. This week the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic - who is also one of the country’s wealthiest men - is facing re-election. He also faces questions on why there was such a secretive method used to purchase a £13 million home in southern France.

The Irish Times also had a fascinating article on this extraordinary leak of data - how an empty office in Dublin was used as a registered address for 800 limited partnerships. Most of these are “controlled by people from former soviet republics such as Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan”.


As the Conservative Party conference continues in Manchester, two headlines in particular are circulating, and they are nothing to do with government policy.

  • An energy boss attending the Conservative party conference in Manchester said she was “violently assaulted” by a party member in a bar there. The Conservative party said they are “working with police” over the incident, and the man has been suspended.
  • A group in Manchester attempted an attack on Sir Ian Duncan Smith - a former leader of the party - as he walked to a meeting in the city centre. The group allegedly shouted he was “Tory scum” and attempted to hit him with a traffic cone, leading to five arrests. Following the incident, Duncan Smith referred to them as “incoherent morons”.


In Northern Ireland, an investigation into mother-and-baby homes is expected to release its findings later today.

Over the course of decades, more than 3,000 women passed through eight of these homes in Northern Ireland, which were run by both Catholic and Protestant churches.

These homes - for women who became pregnant outside of marriage and were often shunned by their families - have been widely associated with allegations of abuse and exploitation.

The Republic of Ireland has also had to face its own dark history in how women were treated during a time of intense religious influence in the country.

While the clip below relates to the Republic of Ireland, it makes for a powerful watch for anyone unfamiliar with this story.


In the US, organisations that provide abortion referrals will no longer be excluded from receiving federal family planning funding.

It is a reversal by the Biden administration on a policy that was brought in by the Trump administration to deter abortion.

According to The New York Times, it will take effect on November 8.


A new report states global warming killed 14% of the world’s coral reefs between 2009 and 2018 alone.

How significant is this report? Al Jazeera described it as “the largest ever survey of coral health” put together by more than 300 scientists.

How important are these reefs? Incredibly. They “cover only a tiny fraction - 0.2% - of the ocean floor, but they are home to at least a quarter of all marine animals and plants”.



Ten years since the death of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. Jobs died "of respiratory arrest brought on by a pancreatic tumour," at the age of 56.


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