Millions Exiting Zuckerberg’s Censorship
Repercussions from Facebook’s continued censorship cost them with a loss of almost a million users in the last half of 2021. The first quarter of 2022 is looking far worse. Last week they experienced the largest single-day decline for a company in history.
Even before the 2020 Presidential Election, Facebook began censoring any negative posts regarding Hunter Biden’s troubling connections with China and Ukraine or his father’s self-imposed lockdown in the basement.
Well after cancelling President Donald J. Trump’s Facebook page, from October through December 2021, the king of Big Pharma’s daily active users fell by about half a million, from 1.930 billion during July-September to less than 1.929 billion.
It Sucked to Be Zuckerberg
Last week Facebook (now known as Meta) saw its market value decline by more than most public companies are worth.
It was particularly tough for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg—who is not only marred by his substantial monetary contributions to the corruption of the November 2020 elections—but being the company’s largest individual shareholder, he lost over $30 billion in just one day.
Today, Facebook’s losses in users persist:
- Daily Active Users (DAUs): To 1.93 billion from 1.95 billion.
- Monthly Active Users (MAUs): 2.91 billion from 2.95 billion.
- Average Revenue per User (ARPU): $11.57 vs $11.38.
Facebook was heavily fined for using cookies illegally towards the end of 2021 by the French data protection authority, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Liberté (CNIL).
🔹On the French version of Facebook, users were being asked to consent to cookies in such a way that it was much easier for them to accept than reject the request.
🔹They could accept cookies with just one click but there was a more laborious process for refusing.
Facebook/Meta was fined $10,467,073 because its breaches affected so many people and it had been in trouble for past violations.
More Zuckerberg Lip Service
Facebook/Meta was provided three months to change their systems to make it as easy for users to reject cookie requests, but most progress has been in sending out lip service type press releases:
Facebook, renamed “Meta,” said it’s reviewing the court’s decision and is committed to working with authorities.
Knowing the laws in the rest of the EU are the same as in France, more countries are taking such actions against Facebook/Meta.
Meta announced that their hardware division, Facebook Reality Labs, is being broken into a separate division. Its core business will be Facebook’s Family of Apps (FoA), including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
Their Reality Labs segment made $877 million in revenue in the last 2021 quarter with an operating loss of $3.3 billion.
Zuckerberg Faces US Woes
In the United States, a year ago in February 2021, a federal judge approved a $650 million Facebook class action privacy settlement affecting over 1.6 million members.
🔹The lawsuit accused Facebook of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act over the platform’s use of facial recognition in photo-tagging.
Analysts suggest that Meta’s losses in North America and Europe are detrimental because they are running out of users to add in the remainder of the world.
🔹On February 15, 2022 Meta agreed to pay $90 million to settle a 2012 lawsuit for tracking users even after they logged out of their accounts.
If approved by the US District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiffs affected by Facebook’s improper data tracking will receive portions of the $90 million. Meta will also be required to delete all of the data it wrongfully collected from those users.
Meta also announced last week that they are changing the name of Facebook’s News Feed, the primary part of the service that users scroll through to see what their friends and family have shared. Going forward, it be called the “Feed.”
🔹The “News Feed” name had been in place since the feature was first introduced more than 15 years ago.
In a 2020 opinion, a federal appeals court ruled that Facebook’s data collection created “economic harm” and that this alleged data collection required explicit user consent specified under the Wiretap Act. Facebook appealed these decisions to the Supreme Court which declined to take up the case last year, leaving the Ninth Circuit ruling in place.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also filed a complaint against Meta. Under the Texas Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act, it is unlawful to use a person’s biometric data for commercial purposes without their consent.
🔹The law also requires anyone who collected the data to destroy it “within a reasonable time,” but no later than one year after the data was collected.
🔹Anyone found guilty of unlawfully collecting biometric data faces a $25,000 fine for each violation — a violation the complaint alleges Facebook committed billions of times.
🔹The complaint also alleges Meta Platforms violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act by not being clear with users about what the facial identification data was being used for. Companies found to have violated this law can be fined up to $10,000 for each penalty.
🔹In November 2021, Meta stated it was ending its facial recognition system on Facebook and would be deleting over a billion individuals’ facial recognition templates.
🔹The company said the decision to end the system came as a result of people opting out of being recognized in images. It also came several months after it settled a similar class action lawsuit in Illinois for $650 million.