Millions of people rely on Facebook to get online. The power outage put them in trouble.

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But in 2016, the program (now renamed Free Basics) was Banned by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India, Claiming that it violates net neutrality. Despite the setbacks, it continued to be launched without much fanfare. To other countries In developing countries. In 2018, Facebook Said Internet.org has 100 million people online. In 2019, FreeBasics is available in 65 countries, About 30 in Africa. Last year, the company began to launch Facebook Discover, which allows Internet users to access low-bandwidth traffic all Websites (not just Facebook assets), even if they run out of data.

Versions of these programs also exist in Afghanistan, where many new Internet users equate Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp with the entire Internet. Even among those who have wider access to the entire network, Facebook’s product suite still plays a vital role. For example, WhatsApp phones have long replaced more expensive and less secure phones. Many small businesses rely on Facebook’s tools to sell and promote their products.

All of this means that even a temporary interruption can have devastating effects, especially for activists and advocacy organizations and people like Bezhan.

Bezhan said: “A lot of underground planning and support is underway on social media, most of which are through Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger apps.” The power outage interrupted her “efforts to provide information to Afghans and plan the next evacuation strategy. [and] Connect with those who need help. ”

It was past midnight when Facebook started to revive, but even so, some of its features, including search and notifications, were still unavailable. She has not received any news about whether she can add another name for the potential evacuation.

But she was also worried about the feelings and thoughts of her Afghan friends, and their main contact with the outside world was suddenly broken. In the weeks since the fall of Kabul, there have been rumors that the Taliban had cut off Internet access. “I bet they are creating rumors and fabricating stories about how the new government will block the media,” she said.

They will not be alone. In response to similar concerns, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Communications of the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated, Go to twitter To clarify: “The Internet connection has not been cut off,” he wrote at 4:05 pm Eastern Time. “This is a global power outage that severely affected WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Other applications such as Twitter are functioning normally. The same goes for other parts of the network.”



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