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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.

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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)

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Content Moderators on Facebook and YouTube Asked to Sign PTSD Forms

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign PTSD forms

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Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Pixabay

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to The Financial Times and The Verge, global professional services firm Accenture which provides content moderators for big tech firms have asked them to sign a form, explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. A similar document was also provided by Accenture to workers at a YouTube content moderation facility in Austin, Texas. Accenture said the wellbeing of workers was a “top priority”.

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Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. Pixabay

“We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do,” the company said in a statement.

“According to an employee who signed one of these acknowledgment forms, every moderator at the facility was emailed a link and asked to sign immediately,” the report said.

The Accenture form says workers might review “disturbing” videos and that moderating “such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both Facebook and Google said they did not review Accenture’s new form.

The Verge’s probe last month into Accenture’s Austin site described hundreds of low-paid immigrants toiling in, removing videos flagged for extreme violence and terrorist content.

Also Read- Tech Giant Apple Becomes One of The Fastest-Growing Brands in India

“The moment they quit Accenture or get fired, they lose access to all mental health services. One former moderator for Google said she was still experiencing symptoms of PTSD two years after leaving,” the report claimed.

Last year, The Verge published a report of Facebook moderators and one of them said he “sleeps with a gun by his side” after doing the job. (IANS)