Since President Trump’s shocking defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, conservative news websites who relied on Facebook to drive traffic to their sites, have watched engagement numbers drop as much as 93%. Are Facebook users getting sick and tired of Facebook deciding who they can and cannot see in their newsfeed? In a country where free speech is so highly valued, will Congress continue to ignore the monopoly social media giants run by liberal activists in Silicon Valley have on the dissemination of news?
Is today’s massive plunge in Facebook’s stock just the beginning of their problems?
In February 2017, our 100percentfedup.com website had 9.27 million views, the majority of our website traffic was driven by Facebook.
In February 2018, only one year after President Trump’s inauguration, the traffic on our website plunged to a STUNNING 1.7 million views.
Mark Zuckerberg is counting the cost of user disenchantment with Facebook Inc.
His fortune tumbled by $16.8 billion in late trading Wednesday, as shares of the social media giant slid 20 percent at 5:37 p.m. in New York on disappointing results. If that holds through Thursday’s close, he will slide to sixth place from third on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It would also wipe his $13.7 billion of gains for the year, leaving him with just less than $70 billion. –Bloomberg
Entertainment Weekly reported that Facebook executives promoting their video-on-demand service got into a combative exchange with reporters while at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
Entertainment Weekly framed the argument as a fight to eliminate “right-wing conspiracy sites” like Fox News and Infowars.
Without identifying the reporters, Entertainment Weekly explained how the conversation went down between Facebook executives and reporters who clearly had an issue with Facebook ALLOWING news organizations that didn’t push a liberal narrative to appear in the newsfeed.
The kerfuffle started when Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice president of video, was asked about Infowars stories on their platform while touting new Facebook Watch entertainment shows.
“To be totally transparent, I find Infowars to be absolutely atrocious,” Simo replied. “But we have the job of balancing freedom of expression and safety. So the way we navigate that is, there’s a pretty big difference between what is allowed on Facebook and what gets distribution. What we’re trying to do is make it so that if you’re saying something that’s untrue on Facebook — which you’re allowed to say as long as you’re an authentic person and you adhere to community standards — but we’re trying to make it so it doesn’t get that much distribution.… We don’t always get it right, it’s very complicated, but that’s our principle.”
Reporter: How do you limit distribution?
“When we have something that a fact checker has told is not true or a lot of our audience is telling us is not true, we limit distribution. We tell our algorithms that this is not something we want to see distributed widely. That’s one way. Another way is the way misinformation spreads is by people sharing the content.… We pop up a module that says, ‘Our fact checker says is inaccurate, you might not want to do that.’ That decreases distribution by 80 percent, it’s very effective at reducing the spread of it.”
Reporter: One of the most prominent organizations you’re working with is Fox News, and they’re sort of incorrigible about proliferating a lot of misinformation. Can you speak to your reasoning behind that? Why would you want to work with an organization like that when, as you said, you’re trying to limit the spread of false information?
At this, Rick Van Even, head of global creative strategy at Facebook, jumped in: “Yeah, well, we have limited time, I’d like to keep it — Fidji doesn’t lead the news organization, Campbell Brown leads that…”
Another reporter in the background: Answer the question!
“We have limited time —”
Another reporter: We’ll give you time!
Simo: “We have a range of new shows we’re presenting —”
Reporter: But Fox News is still on every day, including the weekends. They’re still on this programming list.
Simo: “So is CNN —”
Meanwhile, Facebook stock was taking a massive nosedive…
According to Reuters, Facebook’s plummeting stock price wiped out about $150 billion in market capitalization in under two hours.
The company had cautioned investors to expect a big jump in costs because of efforts to address concerns about poor handling of users’ privacy and to better monitor what users post. Total expenses in the second quarter surged to $7.4 billion, up 50 percent compared with a year ago.
Expenses are expected to grow 50 percent to 60 percent compared with last year as the company invests in security, marketing and content acquisition, he said.
“Over the next several years, we would anticipate that our operating margins will trend towards the mid-30s on a percentage basis,” Wehner said, adding that margins would be down for more than two years.
Facebook’s operating margin fell to 44 percent in the second quarter from 47 percent a year ago.
Facebook users are leaving in big numbers…
Facebook saw monthly active users in Europe decline about 1 million people amid the new regulations, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on the conference call.
Daily user growth for Facebook’s namesake service has slid in six straight quarters, bringing it to 1.47 billion users in the second quarter from 1.23 billion at the end of 2016 when it became embroiled in political issues.
The threat of additional regulatory setbacks remains a concern, according to analysts.