'Facebook Papers' Hit As Platform Reports Billions In Profit
San Francisco, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Oct, 2021 ) :Facebook announced over $9 billion in quarterly profits on Monday, hours after a US news collective published a deluge of withering reports arguing the company prioritizes its growth over people's safety.
The social media giant has been battling a fresh crisis since former employee Frances Haugen leaked reams of internal studies showing executives knew of their sites' potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Facebook executives said on an earnings call that the tech titan would have brought in even more money if not for Apple updating its iPhone operating system to thwart advertisers tracking app users for ad targeting without permission.
"Overall, if it wasn't for Apple's iOS 14 changes, we would have seen positive quarter over quarter revenue growth," Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said of the iPhone software tweak made in the name of protecting privacy.
Hours earlier, new reports blamed CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his platform bending to state censors in Vietnam, noted Facebook allowed hate speech to flourish internationally due to linguistic shortcomings and said it knew its algorithm fueled toxic polarization online.
"These damning documents underscore that Facebook leadership chronically ignored serious internal alarms, choosing to put profits over people," US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Big Tech critic, said in a statement.
News organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post and Wired were among those that have now received access to the set of internal Facebook documents that Haugen originally leaked to US authorities and which were the basis of a damning Wall Street Journal series.
Facebook has assailed the reporting as an effort to cast the social network used by billions of people in an inaccurate light.
"Good faith criticism helps us get better, but my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company," Zuckerberg said in an earnings call.
"Facebook has been unwilling to accept even little slivers of profit being sacrificed for safety, and that's not acceptable," she told the lawmakers, adding that angry or hate-fuelled content "is the easiest way to grow" the social media platform.
Facebook has been hit by major crises previously, but the current view behind the curtain of the insular company has fueled a frenzy of scathing reports and a renewed push from US lawmakers to crack down on social media.
"Teenage users of the Facebook app in the US had declined by 13 percent since 2019 and were projected to drop 45 percent over the next two years, driving an overall decline in daily users in the company's most lucrative ad market," the story said, citing internal company research.