Social Media Mishaps


WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch are all social media apps ranging from a platform to post pictures to a live-streaming platform. What do all these apps have in common though? They all went through some type of mishap this week. 

Facebook and its family apps WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus, and Instagram were all shut down on October 4, 2021, for over 5 hours. Users fled to other apps such as TikTok and Twitter due to the shutdown. Facebook reported that the cause of the shutdown was that communications between its data centers were interrupted. People all over the internet speculated the cause of the shutdown while the applications were all down.  

The engineers who were working to quickly fix the issue ran into many complications due to the security systems they had to pass to fix the communications. This is what caused the 5+ hour outage. Once they passed that, they slowly were able to restore services in chunks increasing exponentially. The engineers didn’t turn everything back on at once since doing so might’ve caused more crashes to occur. 

On to worse news, Twitch has undergone a massive leak. While sensitive information regarding individual streamers were not released, Twitch streamers payouts were leaked, and people were unhappy about their earnings. However, people were not looking at the bigger issue which was that while personal information about people was not released, Twitch’s source code was leaked. Users were encouraged to change their passwords as well as passwords of other accounts they may share passwords with.  

Fans fixated on the streamer payout, causing massive online debates. Other content creators went online and complained about the fans’ behaviors. Other streamers were confused by their outrage as their payouts are basically public knowledge. Fans are able to see streamers’ subscription counts and multiply their count by a number between 2.5 and 3.5 to calculate an estimate of what their earnings are. These streamers also mentioned that the leak doesn’t count the donations that fans give to their streamers. Any income a streamer gets from subscribers, donations, or Twitch’s other income called Bits, is all user based and completely voluntary. The fans give streamers more income. Twitch also has agreements with its streamers and give them a payout that is still private information. 

The person who leaked the information had titled the leak as a ‘first leak’ which is hinting at another possible leak. People don’t know if there is already another spreadsheet for Twitch information of if the hacker is planning on going in for round two. Whatever the hacker has planned, it’s leaving Twitch and its users worried for the potential information that could be leaked. 

The Twitch leak was supposedly done to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space” which maybe was successful in terms of fan competition. But many streamers who have spoken out about this claim that they know how much money other streamers are making, and those numbers don’t impact them. Fans however were quick to point out how much money other big content creators were making compared to their favorite streamers.  

Twitch publicly addressed the situation on Twitter, releasing the following statement “We can confirm a breach has taken place. Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this. We will update the community as soon as additional information is available. Thank you for bearing with us.” They updated their community on their blog post and eventually reset stream keys, which are a unique code given to users that they need to use with their broadcasting software. From there, the situation has seemed to calm down and Twitch streamers continued going back to their job.