Social Web

#Facebook #Fail:  In Times Of Crisis People Come Together … On #Twitter

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During the Facebook outage, one man joked, "I might have to actually talk to the missus now." Steve Kay/via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Kay/via Flickr

We are naturally drawn to talk about things that happen to us or happen to our communities. The incident that is still being talked about a day later in the Internet community at large is Facebook's outage.

Twitter was, and still is, alive with tweets featuring the hashtag "#facebook" and "#fail." While the Facebook hashtag is often used to pass along tips and alerts about Facebook, on Thursday it was used to discuss what life without Facebook meant.

@HOT107CA, a music station in Edmonton, Canada, tweeted:

What did you do when #facebook went down today? Don't act like it didn't phase you! #yeg

Facebook users flooded Twitter with lots of thoughts relating to that question from Thursday afternoon on into Friday morning. Together, on Twitter, they laughed:

A comedic tweet by @RhysHughes said:

Firstly twitter gets wormed and now facebook has died...I might have to actually talk to the missus now.

Referencing Zuckerberg's appearance on Oprah to announce a $100 million donation to Newark, New Jersey's, public schools, @sivavaid sent a playful conspiracy theory tweet:

Zuckerberg joins forces with New Jersey.  #facebook crashes. Coincidence?

And, @RWW tweeted "10 Things to Do When Facebook is Down http://rww.to/9GeUsB," in order to “offer perspective on these sad several hours in Internet history,” it said on its Web site.

Twitter and other forms of social media are often blamed for the demise of meaningful communication.  Thursday’s Facebook outage — at least — prompted people from around the world, even when speaking different languages, to communicate in one forum. You can judge for yourself whether that coming together contained any meaning.

Together, on Twitter, they cried:

@imjozze sent a reply to @JoseAg1 that summed it up for many Facebook users:

Yo no puedo vivir sin #Facebook.  (I cannot live without Facebook.)

Twitter fans didn't just send out the random, banal status updates often criticized by people who are not part of the online community.  They shared and re-shared funny statements and observations.

@GirlsSentAway retweeted @amygutman who retweeted @TheDoll:

FB users roaming streets in tears, shoving photos of themselves in ppl's faces screaming DO U LIKE THIS? DO U?

@djdmarie was just one of many who voiced concern about what would happen if both services went down at the same time:

Anyone else worried about what 2 do since #facebook is down...it would be soc media death if #twitter were down too!

The answer to Facebook and Twitter being down at the same time comes from Josh Stevens, aka @Groupawned, whose social life for the next year will rely heavily on social media as he lives off of Groupons for a year:

Maybe today should be dedicated to spending time with more than just a friend's face? #thankFB

But social media a-la-Twitter did what it was supposed to do.  It allowed people to talk to one another about something they had in common and cared about.

While Mashable reported the outage started around 11:30 a.m. PST, and ended around 3:00 p.m. PST, even on Friday morning, the #facebook tweets continued to stream in. People did not want to give up talking about it even though it was over.

#Facebook inspired creativity:

@BostonDave shared a link to an image of the familiar Twitter "fail whale" bearing a Facebook logo:

The #facebook #fail Whale - In Honor of Todays Facebook Outage http://post.ly/zQaa

#Facebook also brought out opportunists, including @PerezHilton:

Oh boy!  #Facebook is down again! Thankfully, http://PerezHilton.com is posting tons of juicy stuff! I'm hustlin'!

The outage also provided users like @ChAnasM a chance to build new friendships:

Time to make some friends. My new #facebook profile. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001585628644 just for my tweeples =D #AddMe

Students tweeted that it was a good time for Facebook to go down, seeing as how they needed to be studying anyway. People joked that work productivity was up due to the Facebook outage and that a lot of Facebook babies would be born nine months from now.

Some on Twitter even came to the conclusion that the outage might not even be a big deal. Stevens — via one of his @Groupawned tweets — put it this way:

It's only Facebook...get over it.

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