Monday December 16, 2019
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Social Networking Giant Facebook Staring at Bigger Problems This Year

In Wieser's analysis, Facebook's problems are unlikely to go away in 2019

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Facebook, data
Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Already mired in controversies, social networking giant Facebook should brace itself for another tough year as its revenue growth faces risk due to increased scrutiny of the platform’s usage by marketers, according to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.

In a note published in MediaVillage on Monday, Wieser maintained his “sell” recommendation on the company’s stock.

“On a negatively revised price target for 2019, we maintain our Sell recommendation on Facebook as we think downside risks on higher costs and management changes are more pronounced now vs. before…,” Wieser said.

“…and revenue growth also faces risks as marketers enhance their scrutiny when they assess their use of the platform,” he added.

Facebook had a tough year in 2018. Scrutiny of Facebook increased manifold since it revealed earlier in 2018 how a London-based political consultancy, that worked for US President Donald Trump’s campaign, improperly got access to data of up to 87 millions users.

Appearing before a US Congress Committee in April 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

While Facebook was slammed for revealing the Cambridge Analytica scandal years after it got to know of it, similar allegations of inaction were also levelled at the social media site for its role in the spread of false and divisive messages by Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election.

Again in September 2018, Facebook said that a breach had exposed data of 50 million people and then, in December, it reported another security breach where nearly 6.8 million users risked their private photos being exposed to third-party apps.

User numbers at Facebook were flat in North America and declined slightly in Europe in third-quarter information released in October, although total monthly active users worldwide went up to 2.27 billion from 2.23 billion on the previous quarter, CNBC reported.

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In Wieser’s analysis, Facebook’s problems are unlikely to go away in 2019.

Pivotal estimates that Facebook made between $5 billion and $7 billion from Chinese advertisers in 2018, and that might also be a problem this year if economic weakness continues in China, the CNBC report said on Monday. (IANS)

Next Story

Fake Ads on Facebook Spreading Rumours About anti-HIV Drugs

"Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health," it added

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Fake ads on Facebook are spreading rumours about the ill-effect of anti-HIV drugs, targeting LGBTQ Facebook and Instagram users and are causing significant harm to public health, a non-profit organization GLAAD has written in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“We are urgently reaching out to Facebook and Instagram regarding factually inaccurate advertisements which suggest negative health effects of Truvada PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).

“We request that Facebook and Instagram remove the advertisements and also publicly address the misinformation that the platforms allowed to spread,” the non-profit organization said in the letter.

Using Facebook’s and Instagram’s targeted advertising programs, various law firms are attempting to recruit gay and bisexual men who use Truvada PrEP as an HIV preventative to join a lawsuit, claiming that the drug has caused harmful side effects in this patient population, specifically bone density and kidney issues.

“This is despite numerous studies underscoring the safety of TDF in HIV-negative PrEP users,” said GLAAD.

Leading public health officials, medical professionals, and dedicated PrEP navigators and outreach coordinators have shared that these advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are being directly cited by at-risk community members expressing heightened fears about taking PrEP.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.

“Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent when taken daily.”

HIV test price in Delhi, HIV in Delhi, STD test in Delhi
HIV is a virus that impairs the body’s immune system badly and eventually takes the patient closer. Pixabay

By allowing these advertisements to persist on their platforms, said the letter, Facebook and Instagram are convincing at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable HIV infections.

“You are harming public health.”

Facebook was yet to comment on the letter.

Facebook’s Advertising Policy regarding misinformation in ads states that “Facebook prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

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We are the organizations with “particular expertise,” said GLAAD.

They demanded immediate action to ameliorate the harm which has already been caused to those who may be seeking preventative treatment against HIV.

“Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health,” it added. (IANS)