Elaine Byrne: If Facebook is too big to fail, it’s too big to exist

The social media giant holds half the world’s population in thrall and, as whistleblower Frances Haugen pointed out last week, it allows no principle to hamper its pursuit of profit

14th October, 2021
Elaine Byrne: If Facebook is too big to fail, it’s too big to exist
The governments of the world would not tolerate a single banking institution providing financial services to half its entire population. Picture: Getty

First the numbers. Facebook and its family of apps – Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp – are used by approximately 3.5 billion people, equating to almost half the world’s entire population.

The platform’s six-hour outage last Monday deprived populations around the world of their only means of digital communication and commerce. In many countries, telecommunications services are exceptionally expensive, and their populations have come to rely heavily on WhatsApp, which is free.


Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!


What's Included

With any subscription you will have access to

  • 971569B3-2C5E-4C45-B798-CEADE16987A8

    Unlimited multi-device access to our iPad, iPhone and Android Apps

  • 099C8662-C57C-42F2-9426-F2F90DF17C8F

    Unlimited access to our eReader library

  • 198AE43B-B9CF-4892-8769-D63C2104BA08

    Exclusive daily insight and opinion seven days a week

  • D8F37B78-25E4-4E4A-A376-4F5789B1564A

    Create alerts to never miss a subject that matters to you

  • B15F2521-37CD-4E02-B898-730A20D39F7F

    Get access to exclusive offers for subscribers on gifts and experiences

  • A564FE02-1AB8-4579-AF9D-BA32A2E5ACA7

    Get content from Business Post, Business Post Magazines, Connected, Tatler and Food & Wine

Related Stories

‘We were definitely in a world of excess consumer demand’

Connected Emmet Ryan 5 hours ago

Research finds AI training system filled with misogynistic, pornographic and racist data

Tech Aaron Rogan 3 days ago

Kinzen was paid €8,600 a month to combat Covid-19 ‘misinformation’ online

Tech Catherine Sanz 3 days ago

Denis O’Brien compares Facebook to the ‘creeping authoritarianism’ of 1930s Germany

Tech Aaron Rogan 3 days ago