The worldwide Facebook and Instagram outage yesterday Wednesday, July 3 caused a furore and many active users are questioning whether the services are reliable. It is now known that the disruption was due to the updating of image tags as part of the accessibility function, which aids in assisting blind social media users.

The 1.5-billion daily active Facebook and Instagram users had to wait until the services’ Artificial Intelligence system had finished updating these image tags. Images uploaded on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram automatically have tags added according to whatever or whoever is in the image – the AI’s automatic facial and image recognition software helps it detect what is shown in a picture.

The idea behind AI is to create a system that can function as a normal human would, that can interpret anything from sounds to images and make simple decisions without needing human input. The accessibility function helps describe images to visually-impaired people.

Some Facebook users got the chance to see the tags describing the images. Some were amusing, while others were just disconcerting.

Of course, many Facebook and Instagram users took to Twitter to share their reaction, some of which were hilarious:

Picture: Pexels

Article written by

Dylan Palmer