Facebook earns $9bn Amid Whistleblower Scandal
Facebook posted rising profits for the third quarter, despite bad press.
The social media platform Facebook made $9bn of profit in the three months to September, up from $7.8bn last year. Investor predictions were cleared, despite the company facing a lot of negative publicity over a major release of whistleblower documents.
On the company’s Monday earning report, it stated, that it saw a 6% year-on-year increase in daily active users, reaching an average of 1.93 billion for September 2021. Its revenue grew 35% to $29.01bn, because of online advertising.
Amid scrutiny Facebook saw financial wins. News organizations were publishing stories on Monday based on documents leaked by the whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen testified on Monday in front of British MPs calling for external regulation of Facebook.
The leaked documents show the aggressive spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. It also showed that Facebook was reluctant to censor rightwing news organizations for fear of angering the Trump administration. Also, it was revealed that Facebook struggled to crack down on human trafficking operations advertised on Instagram.
On Monday, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerburg told investors on a conference call: "What we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company."
Facebook is under scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators, including from the Federal Trade Commission, which has filed an antitrust lawsuit alleging anticompetitive practices.
The whistleblower documents include internal research about Instagram's effects on teen mental health; whether Facebook's platforms stoke division; and the social media giant's handling of the 6 January Capitol riot.
Ms Haugen told UK MPs at a hearing on Monday, that Facebook is "unquestionably making hate worse" and that "Facebook has been unwilling to accept even little slivers of profit being sacrificed for safety".
The MPs are considering what new rules to impose on big social networks under the planned Online Safety Bill.