Facebook profits rise amid revelations from leaked documents

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook announced more than $ 9 billion in quarterly profit on Monday, hours after a U.S. news collective published a flood of devastating reports arguing that the company prioritizes its growth over people’s safety .
The social media giant has been battling a new crisis since former employee Frances Haugen leaked scores of internal studies showing executives were aware of the damaging potential of their sites, sparking a renewed push in the United States for regulation. .
Facebook released results showing that its earnings in the recently ended quarter grew to $ 9.2 billion, an increase of 17 percent, and its user ranks increased to 2.91 billion.
Facebook executives said in an earnings call that the tech titan would have made even more money had it not been for Apple’s upgrade to its iPhone operating system to thwart advertisers who track app users for targeting. of ads without permission.
“Overall, if it weren’t for Apple’s iOS 14 changes, we would have seen positive revenue growth quarter over quarter,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said of the iPhone software tweak done on behalf. of privacy protection.
Hours earlier, new reports blamed CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his platform bowing to state censors in Vietnam, noted that Facebook allowed hate speech to flourish internationally due to linguistic deficiencies, and said he knew its algorithm fueled the toxic polarization online.
“These damning documents underscore that Facebook’s leadership chronically ignored grave internal alarms, choosing to put profits before people,” US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a critic of big technology, said in a statement.
News organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wired are among those that have now received access to the set of internal Facebook documents that Haugen originally leaked to US authorities and that were the basis of a Wall Street conviction series. Journal.
Facebook has attacked the reports as an effort to cast the social network used by billions of people in an inaccurate light.
“Good faith reviews help us improve, but my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false image of our company,” Zuckerberg said on an earnings call.
Haugen, who testified on social media before British lawmakers on Monday, has repeatedly said that the company puts its continued growth and therefore its profits before the well-being and safety of users.
“Facebook has been unwilling to accept that even small amounts of profit be sacrificed for security, and that is not acceptable,” he told lawmakers, adding that angry or hate-driven content “is the easiest way to grow “the social media platform.
Facebook has suffered major crises before, but the current vision behind the curtain of the island company has fueled a frenzy of scathing reporting and a renewed push by US lawmakers to crack down on social media.
The Washington Post article published Monday said Zuckerberg had personally endorsed a push by the authoritarian government of Vietnam to limit the spread of so-called “anti-state” messages.
A Politico report called the documents a “treasure for Washington’s antitrust fight” against the platform, revealing internal employee conversations about Facebook’s global dominance.
One of Monday’s reports, from The Verge website, dived into the company’s own concerns for its future.
“Teen users of the Facebook app in the US had decreased by 13 percent since 2019 and were projected to fall 45 percent in the next two years, causing an overall decline in daily users in the company’s most lucrative ad market, “the story goes. citing internal company research.

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