How years of privacy controversies finally caught up with Facebook

Here & Now


From NPR and WBZ. I'm Robin young. I'm Jeremy Hobson. It's here and now shares in Facebook, took a nosedive this morning dropping nineteen percent because of an earnings report after the market closed yesterday that is troubling many investors. Here's the headline the number of daily users of Facebook in the US and Canada is no longer growing. Facebook is also now losing daily users in Europe. Callum borders is senior innovation reporter at you. Are he joins us in the studio high-cal glad to be with you. And we should say that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described this as a solid quarter revenue is still up by more than forty percent compared to this time last year. But what is happening is this all about the privacy issues and people dropping out of Facebook as a result? It's part of it. You mentioned the number of users leveling off or even dipping in in some areas. But I think part of what we're seeing actually may be the reverse, which is that investors could be worried that Facebook is so focused on a dressing user's privacy, concerns that the business is going to suffer as a result. I'm reminded of what sucker Berg said during his Senate testimony back in April, he said, I've directed our teams to invest so much insecurity that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward. And then on the on the earnings call yesterday, he said, we're beginning to see just that this quarter will and tell us about the earnings call because Berg was pretty positive in that call, but then the chief financial officer, Dave Wehner got on. What did he do that caused some alarm? So Wehner said, our total revenue growth will continue to decelerate in the second half of two thousand eighteen. It's that continue were that I think really has investors alarmed. In other words, he was signaling. This wasn't just a bad quarter and it's behind us now and we can move on. He was saying, things are going to maybe get worse before they get better and they lost a huge amount of money, a huge amount of market capitalization in the drop. Just today. Facebook, of course, is grappling with the number of controversies how the platform was used for fake news in the two thousand sixteen election, how the firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data from. Users, and then now the company's policy not to remove offensive content. I wanna listen to Mark Zuckerberg here speaking last week with Recode defending that policy with an example Renzo I'm Jewish and there's a set of people who deny that the holocaust, right. I find that deeply offensive, but the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think that there are things that different people get wrong either. I don't think that they're intentionally getting a wrong that he has since clarified that statement, but does the company need to do more now to stop the bleeding? I think we'll probably get our answer between now and November. Six, which of course is the date of the midterm election. I think that if in that period we're seeing a lot of headlines about how Facebook continues to be a platform where Russia and other bad actors can spread disinformation. That's going to continue to damage Facebook's reputation. If on the other hand, they get credit. For seeming to clean up the platform and get rid of all that fake news. Then perhaps they can begin to restore confidence of their users and investors. We should say, just for context that Facebook's profits are still up by more than thirty percent compared to last year. And today's drops have brought the value of the stock price basically where it was in, may they've lost all the gains that they've made in the last couple of months. Yeah, this may just be sort of what they would call a market correction, right? It may be that misters were just too optimistic about the future of the company. I think the broader context too is that maybe people are losing a little bit of faith in these iconic tech CEO's throw Elon Musk in there with his Twitter antics lately that stub yours. Calum butcher is thank you. Glad to be with you. Ocalan Jeremy. A longtime tech reporter while Mossberg called zuckerberg's holocaust remarked cowardly. One holocaust scholar tweeted, this is breathtakingly irresponsible and many users do on Facebook to do more to restrict and remove misinformation hate posts, which makes Antonio Garcia, Martinez..

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