Facebook is having a bad week.
Following the recent election, the company’s stock took a bit of a tumble after a fairly successful year on the market. Millions of left-leaning Facebook users (and slightly-less-partisan journalists) pointed fingers at the social media site for misleading people on both sides of the political fence about Donald Trump, perhaps ultimately handing him the presidency.
Also, Facebook killed millions of users (virtually), so there’s that.
There’s much more to Facebook’s decline on the stock market. Sure, their decrease in value has something to do with the market climate, but on a consumer-facing level, the company is doing several things that’s pissing millions of people off.
Could this lead to a mass exodus from Facebook? Probably not, but it could still mean bad times ahead for the public company. Here’s why they’re not doing so hot:
Tech stocks are down across the board.
Tech stocks aren’t doing well after the election for a few choice reasons. Facebook is no exception, and could be seeing a residual effect from other Nasdaq-listed stocks.
There’s fake news all over the site.
Zuckerberg and Facebook vehemently deny that this is a problem, claiming that 99% of all news on Facebook is valid and authentic. Yet by simply logging on to my Facebook and browsing 100 posts containing links to “news articles, only 89 of those articles contained actual, valid news and not hoaxes or unsubstantiated rumors. That’s an 89% accuracy rate for a site where a massive percentage of the literate public gets their news from. Mind you my experience is personalized, so your mileage may vary, but news is news.
Facebook advertising practices are kind of awful.
Did you know that you can take out a Facebook ad and target or exclude an entire race? For some markets, like real estate, such practices are absolutely illegal. Facebook will work to prevent race-targeted ads in certain sectors from ever showing up (because it’s illegal, duh), but still enable it with every other business type they can.
Facebook killed everyone.
Last week, Facebook accidentally triggered a message on millions of profiles claiming the users were deceased. Sure, it was a bug, but with the public’s trust in Facebook after the election reaching new lows, it certainly wasn’t good for their image of a reliable, trustworthy company that totally won’t kill you or your friends.
Facebook will slowly make people give up on Facebook.
Let’s recap: on Facebook, advertisers can target you based on race. Some of the stuff you see all over your news feed may or may not be true. The company still has Peter Thiel on their board and defends his controversial beliefs, much to the chagrin of the site’s liberal users. They incorrectly say people died, conduct horrible psychological studies on their users, and use your data for everything and anything. In short, Facebook’s moderation is terrible, which could see their users gradually lose interest in the site.
Let’s look at Twitter for a sign of things to come at Facebook. Recently, several companies were allegedly interested in purchasing Twitter for one reason or another. Yet Disney (allegedly) pulled out of discussions to acquire Twitter because they have no good way of moderating horrible and offensive tweets on their site. This is also causing users on Twitter to abandon it at a frightening pace, including high-profile celebrities who are inundated with racist, sexist, homophobic, and other hateful comments.
Facebook has less of a problem with comment moderation and more of an issue with content moderation (and accuracy of that content). If they can’t figure out a way to fix their fake news problem, people will look elsewhere for their content fix…and they’ll never look back.
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