Facebook users were yesterday unable to engage in discussions or see comments on popular pages, causing confusion among some consumers, who thought they had been censored.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, told TechCrunch that a technical issue had caused the glitch that temporarily concealed comments on the page posts of verified accounts. Facebook said it had since resolved the error, although some users said they were still experiencing the problem.
In Kenya, users could not see comments or engage in discussions on page posts of major media houses and blogs, leading many to accuse the affected media houses of censoring political discussions — given it happened hours after the presidential debate ahead of the national elections in August. The reaction of some users shows that, while it is hard to measure the severity of such interruptions, such events can have unintended consequences.
“Yesterday, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble viewing comments on verified Facebook pages. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Such glitches have been few and far between on Facebook since it gained popularity. The worst hitch happened in October last year, when a bug broke down the site for more than six hours, impacting its users ability to communicate and do business.
Facebook, used by about 2.8 billion people in the world, is regarded as a news source for most of its users, with one study saying that around a third of Americans regularly get their news from Facebook.
While Facebook’s popularity is said to be declining across the world, its usage in emerging markets, like Africa, has been on the rise. The social network has about 242 million active users in Africa, where it has a penetration rate of 86%.