The world’s largest social media platform suffered image issues today and it impacted all of the company’s services: Instagram, WhatsApp, and even Messenger. Images didn’t load or loaded as broken files with Facebook’s internal labeling of the image visible to the user.
This last part led to some pretty interesting observations on how Facebook classifies images on its service. As for what caused the issue, that’s still not clear, but The Verge reports that it began at 8AM EST.
Personally, the issue didn’t clear up until about an hour ago with every service showing errors where images should have been. That didn’t stop Instagram likes and comments from continuing to come through though so that’s some kind of anecdotal evidence that just because an image was broken for me doesn’t mean it was for you.
As hinted above, one of the most interesting revelations during all of this was how Facebook classifies images on its website. Here’s one example cited by The Verge, “image may contain: people smiling, people dancing, wedding and indoor.”
Aside from the somewhat creepy nature of that, it also shows just how much AI is intruding into our wider world. Reports indicate that the same tagging system is also showing up on Instagram.
These tags have done everything from spur the creation of memes to conspiracy theories about how Facebook uses these tags. One suggestion is that Facebook might use this image tag information to target ads and content to certain users but, again, no one knows anything for sure.
Did you notice today’s issues on Instagram and Facebook? Notice any interesting tags on your images? Let us know your story in the comments below.
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I saw it. I actually noticed it a few weeks ago and commented about it on my FB feed. I think I used the word “creepy” when I described it as well. FB just had too much info.
I saw it, too, Rob, and I completely agree. Creepy stuff. Thanks for your comment!