David Pinsen Blog | It Just Gets Worse For Facebook | Talkmarkets
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Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:44 PM EDT

NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway on Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook Faces Another Firestorm 

Last month, Facebook (FB) faced outrage about reports it had withheld information about how ineffective its video ads were; now, a New York Times article about its attempts to "Delay, deny and deflect" the scandals facing it over the last few years. In response, the top Democrat on Congress's antitrust subcommittee called for new regulations on the company. 

In the past, I've pointed out that antitrust action is the biggest threat to FAANGs, and that, of the FAANGs, Facebook had the most to fear from antitrust action, because it was the most reliant on acquisitions (such as Instagram and WhatsApp) to make up for declining use of its core platform. The New York Times article, and the reaction to it, suggests that political risks for Facebook may have risen, as I elaborate below. 

The Significance Of The New York Times Article

The primary criticisms of Facebook mentioned in the first paragraph of Congressman Cicilline's statement in the tweet above are less important, I think, than the allegations about how Facebook tried to suppress criticism related to them. This appears to be a case of the cover-up being worse than the initial crimes. The "hate speech" mentioned in the New York Times article, for example, included a statement by candidate Donald Trump calling for a temporary halt in immigration from Muslim countries after a terrorist attack. Was Facebook supposed to censor an American presidential candidate mooting a policy proposal (albeit, a controversial one)? Similarly, it still seems unlikely many American voters were influenced by Russian Facebook trolls. The real significance of the New York Times article is that it was published at all. That it was is evidence of a political shift that I believe began with Hillary Clinton's defeat in the 2016 election. 

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Alpha Stockman 6 months ago Member's comment

"Facebook chose to turn a blind eye... Now we know that one they knew the truth, top executives did everything they could to hide it from the public..." While I don't disagree, is this now fact? Where is the smoking gun? Did I miss this in the news? $FB

Alexa Graham 6 months ago Member's comment

#Facebook is a mess. $FB