Karen on Facebook Outage: Where will I get my misinformation now?
Updated: Jan 26
The recent crash of all of Facebook’s services left Karen more worried about the secret truth of COVID-19 and cat videos than the control Mark Zuckerberg has over her internet experience.
By Ruairidh Macdonald
Two weeks ago, Karen was just busy sifting through her news feed full of conspiracy theories and BuzzFeed recipes to see that her homepage would no longer provide her with any new material to consume. Confused, she reloaded the app to find that her news feed still wouldn’t load. Consulting her Messenger and WhatsApp groups to see if they were experiencing similar issues proved fruitless, as these were also powered by Facebook.
The six-hour outage of Facebook and its accompanying apps supposedly left three and a half billion people affected, posing a serious issue as these services provide the only forms of communication for many people to connect with friends and family, potentially leaving people physically stranded or in situations not being able to get in touch with someone very important.
However, when interviewed about this, Karen was quick to return to the relevant issue at hand, the government’s lies about the pandemic and their infringement on her rights. Showing us many, many videos from her various Facebook groups and her whiteboard-based explanation of how “they” are orchestrating the whole pandemic. When asked to identify who “they” are, Karen was unable to decide between Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Hillary Clinton but said it was definitely one of them.
After being brought back on track to answer the original question and asked about how it made her feel, she said she began to feel very isolated during the six hours without access to “the truth”, she called it. Not being able to know how to feel about the news and watching the news on television were very distressful for her, except “if it was Tucker Carlson”, a frightening thought.
At ninety minutes into the outage, she considered creating a Twitter account but went against it, citing how “antifa” Twitter was and decided to boycott it instead but didn’t have anywhere to post her call to arms.
When asked how she felt when Facebook came back online, she described it as a euphoric feeling, one that can only be compared to Donald Trump being elected back in 2016. After that predictable answer, we decided to terminate the interview, not for a lack of time but knowing that we did not have enough time in the world to get an overview of how Karen’s brain works.