It’s widely used by apps most users have no idea are connected back to Facebook — even if they never use Facebook or its services. And it prompted problems reported en masse.
“It’s quite possible that every single app you use on any particular day is running code from Facebook, Google and other data-gathering and data-mining companies,” developer Guilherme Rambo wrote in a post on his website explaining the bug. He first noticed the problem when he tried to use an app to order dinner.
Facebook, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, told the Verge a new release caused the issue in the iOS tool kit, and that it found and fixed the bug.
Apple didn’t have immediate comment. Spotify, TikTok and DoorDash did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The crashes — which appeared to be resolved by Thursday morning — are a reminder of just how much of technology is connected to Facebook. The dominant social media network debuted a service earlier this year that showed how much it tracks users, even when they aren’t on its website.
Facebook has faced rising privacy concerns from users over the past two years, prompted in large part by the Cambridge Analytica scandal that leaked millions of people’s personal information. And tech companies generally have faced consumer skepticism due to the near ubiquitous use of tracking, something that allows for ads to follow users across the Web and even tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Developers went to popular coding forum GitHub to discuss the crashing issue Wednesday, calling on Facebook to fix the tool kit so it wouldn’t crash.
“We are also affected by this. Please move slower and break fewer things. Thank you,” one developer commented, referencing Facebook’s famous motto that suggested moving fast and breaking things.
And Rambo still found a way to order dinner, by blocking the Facebook domain on his network.
“I wasn’t going to starve because of Facebook,” he wrote.
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