Facebook claims it's facing declining profits fighting fake news & Russian 'propagandists'

Calvin Saunders
November 4, 2017

"Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits", Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Yesterday afternoon-one day after Facebook, along with Google and Twitter, testified to U.S. Congress about the company's involvement with Russian Federation in last year's presidential election-CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed Facebook's third-quarter earnings with investors.

The company's top lawyer has spent the past two days testifying to Congress alongside executives from Twitter and Google about Russia-linked accounts' manipulation of their platforms.

Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem Wednesday. "But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don't bring people closer together". "I've expressed how upset I am that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust".

He said that the company is investing a lot in people and technology, focusing on finding bad actors and bad behavior, removing false news, hate speech, bullying, and other problematic content.

It will require a pretty evident moral compass for Facebook to navigate the doldrums it finds itself in due to alleged gaming of its platform by Russian agents and the internal and external backlash at Zuckerberg's initial dismissal of the fake news epidemic as "pretty crazy".

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Facebook says that 10,000 people work on safety and security today, and it will double those teams by the end of next year. This includes the already growing video sharing activities on Facebook's Instagram and WhatsApp, and content consuming through the recently-launched Watch tab, where users can watch shows like on traditional television.

Within the small print of the social network's impressive results, it has emerged that 10% of its 2.07bn monthly users are now thought to be duplicates of real users, or nearly double its previous estimate of 6% in the previous quarter. The average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.29 per share.

Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Wall Street predicted $9.88 billion.

"Facebook's expansion into additional markets such as Asia Pacific, will further expand its reach and continue to keep the social giant far ahead of its peers in regard to sheer volume and therefore engagement and potential ad revenue". Daily users also climbed 16 per cent to 1.37 billion.

The company's operating margin, a key measure of profit, widened to 50 percent of revenue from 44 percent a year ago, even though head count rose 47 percent to 23,165.

Facebook Inc (FB) revenue from advertising, which increased 49%, has been the major contributor of Facebook Inc (FB)'s overall revenue.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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