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- On Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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Since 2006, anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in this requirement, depending on local laws.
Facebook held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company.
Users can add other users as 'friends', exchange messages, post status updates, share photos, videos and links, use various software applications ('apps'), and receive notifications of other users' activity.
In recent years, the company has faced intense pressure over the amount of fake news, hate speech, and depictions of violence prevalent on its services, all of which it is attempting to counteract.
According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not and used 'photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person'.
He uploaded all art images to a website, each of which was featured with a corresponding comments section, then shared the site with his classmates, and people started sharing notes.
In January 2004, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website, known as 'TheFacebook', with the inspiration coming from an editorial in the Crimson about Facemash, stating that 'It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized Website is readily available ...
Entertainment Weekly included the site on its end-of-the-decade 'best-of' list saying, 'How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?'
and according to its data, half of the site's membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site by mobile.
In March 2011, it was reported that Facebook was removing about 20,000 profiles every day for violations such as spam, graphic content, and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost cyber security.
It was believed that adjustments to earnings estimates were communicated to the underwriters by a Facebook financial officer, who used the information to cash out on their positions while leaving the general public with overpriced shares.
The company's data also revealed 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads, and 140 billion friend connections.
On April 15, 2013, Facebook announced an alliance across 19 states with the National Association of Attorneys General, to provide teenagers and parents with information on tools to manage social networking profiles.
The campaign highlighted content promoting domestic and sexual violence against women, and used over 57,000 tweets and more than 4,900 emails that caused withdrawal of advertising from the site by 15 companies, including Nissan UK, House of Burlesque and Nationwide UK.
It decided to take action on May 29, 2013, after it 'become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate'.
On June 12, 2013, Facebook announced on its newsroom that it was introducing clickable hashtags to help users follow trending discussions, or search what others are talking about on a topic.
A July 2013 Wall Street Journal article identified the Facebook IPO as the cause of a change in the U.S.' national economic statistics, as the local government area of the company's headquarters, San Mateo County, California, became the top wage-earning county in the country after the fourth quarter of 2012.
It noted the wages were 'the equivalent of $168,000 a year, and more than 50% higher than the next-highest county, New York County (better known as Manhattan), at $2,107 a week, or roughly $110,000 a year.'
In September 2013, the South China Morning Post announced that the block would lifted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone 'to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone'.
As part of the company's second quarter results, Facebook announced in late July 2014 that mobile accounted for 62% of its advertising revenue, which is an increase of 21% from the previous year.
The meeting occurred after Zuckerberg participated in a Q&A session at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on October 23, 2014, where he attempted to converse in Mandarin—although Facebook is banned in China, Zuckerberg is highly regarded among the people and was at the university to help fuel the nation's burgeoning entrepreneur sector.
A book of Chinese president Xi Jinping found on Zuckerberg's office desk attracted a great deal of attention in the media, after the Facebook founder explained to Lu, 'I want them [Facebook staff] to understand socialism with Chinese characteristics.'
As of January 21, 2015[update], Facebook's algorithm is programmed to filter out false or misleading content, such as fake news stories and hoaxes, and will be supported by users who select the option to flag a story as 'purposefully fake or deceitful news'.
His speech outlined his vision, which rested on three main pillars: artificial intelligence, increased connectivity around the world and virtual and augmented reality.
In July 2016, a US$1 billion lawsuit was filed against the company alleging that it permitted the Hamas group to use it to perform assaults that ended the lives of four people.
Following the 2016 presidential election, Facebook announced that it would further combat the spread of fake news by using fact checkers from sites like FactCheck.org and Associated Press (AP), making reporting hoaxes easier through crowdsourcing, and disrupting financial incentives for spammers.
On October 16, 2017, Facebook acquired the anonymous compliment social media app tbh for an undisclosed amount, announcing intentions to leave the app independent, similar to Instagram and WhatsApp.
The company released a statement relating the attempts to previous security breaches saying, 'It's clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.
The cause of Facebook's low CTR has been attributed to younger users enabling ad blocking software and their adeptness at ignoring advertising messages, as well as the site's primary purpose being social communication rather than content viewing.
According to digital consultancy iStrategy Labs in mid-January 2014, three million fewer users aged between 13 and 17 years were present on Facebook's Social Advertising platform compared to 2011.
A study found that, for video advertisements on Facebook, over 40% of users who viewed the videos viewed the entire video, while the industry average was 25% for in-banner video ads.
The company released its own set of revenue data at the end of January 2014 and claimed: Revenues of US$2.59 billion were generated for the three months ending December 31, 2013;
During the same time, independent market research firm eMarketer released data in which Facebook accounted for 5.7 per cent of all global digital ad revenues in 2013 (Google's share was 32.4 per cent).
Mobile advertising revenue accounted for around 62 per cent of advertising revenue, an increase of approximately 41 per cent over the comparable quarter of the previous year.
Similar to other onlien advertising platforms like google and twitter, targeting of advertisements is one of the chief merits of advertising visa a vis traditional mass advertising modes like television and print.
Marketing on facebook is employed through two methods based on the surfing habits, likes and shares, and purchasing data of the audience, namely targeted audiences and 'look alike' audiences.
Facebook, which in 2010 had more than 750 million active users globally including over 23 million in India, announced that its Hyderabad center would house online advertising and developer support teams and provide round-the-clock, multilingual support to the social networking site's users and advertisers globally.
Russia's communications minister tweeted that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged the social media giant's founder to abandon plans to lure away Russian programmers and instead consider opening a research center in Moscow.
On foot of their EU Commission €13bn tax fine (for period 2004–2014, the largest tax fine in history), Apple has restructured their double Irish structure (Apple Sales International), into an Irish capital allowances for intangibles tax scheme (see leprechaun economics).
To create a double Irish tax structure, a large quantum of intellectual property (or 'IP') must be owned in a low-tax location, which the double Irish will then charge out to all non-US locations as a royalty payment (to relocate profits to the low-tax location).
The closeness of the net effective tax costs of having Facebook Ireland, in Ireland, or relocated back to the US, was shown when Reuters revealed that Facebook Ireland is going to move 1.5bn non-EU accounts back to the US to limit exposure to the EU Commission's May 2018 GDPR.
Ptail data are separated out into three streams so they can eventually be sent to their own clusters in different data centers (Plugin impression, News feed impressions, Actions (plugin + news feed)).
Data is processed in batches to lessen the number of times needed to read and write under high demand periods (A hot article will generate a lot of impressions and news feed impressions which will cause huge data skews).
In February 2014, Facebook expanded the options for a user's gender setting, adding a custom input field that allows users to choose from a wide range of gender identities.
If a user does not provide key information, such as location, hometown, or relationship status, other users can use a new 'ask' button to send a message asking about that item to the user in a single click.
On September 6, 2006, News Feed was announced, which appears on every user's homepage and highlights information including profile changes, upcoming events, and birthdays of the user's friends.
This enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause.
some complained it was too cluttered and full of undesired information, others were concerned that it made it too easy for others to track individual activities (such as relationship status changes, events, and conversations with other users).
Users are now able to prevent user-set categories of friends from seeing updates about certain types of activities, including profile changes, Wall posts, and newly added friends.
Facebook allows users to upload an unlimited number of photos, compared with other image hosting services such as Photobucket and Flickr, which apply limits to the number of photos that a user is allowed to upload.
The feature, following the format of Snapchat and Instagram stories, allows users to upload photos and videos that appear above friends' and followers' News Feeds and disappear after 24 hours.
Facebook officially rolled out 'Reactions' to users worldwide on February 24, 2016, letting users long-press on the like button for an option to use one of five pre-defined emotions, including 'Love', 'Haha', 'Wow', 'Sad', or 'Angry'.
In 2017, Facebook has added 'Messenger Day', a feature that lets users share photos and videos in a story-format with all their friends with the content disappearing after 24 hours;
In March 2015, Facebook announced that it would start letting businesses and users interact through Messenger with features such as tracking purchases and receiving notifications, and interacting with customer service representatives.
It also announced that third-party developers could integrate their apps into Messenger, letting users enter an app while inside Messenger and optionally share details from the app into a chat.
and in April 2017, it enabled the M virtual assistant for users in the U.S., which scans chats for keywords and suggests relevant actions, such as its payments system for users mentioning money.
Additionally, Facebook expanded the use of bots, incorporating group chatbots into Messenger as 'Chat Extensions', adding a 'Discovery' tab for finding bots, and enabling special, branded QR codes that, when scanned, take the user to a specific bot.
On September 14, 2011, Facebook added the ability for users to provide a 'Subscribe' button on their page, which allows users to subscribe to public postings by the user without needing to add him or her as a friend.
In April 2018, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, and refuting a report to the contrary by Reuters, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would implement additional privacy 'controls and settings' worldwide.
On September 28, 2018, Facebook saw a drop in its share price by 3% due to a major breach in its security, exposing the data of 50 million users.
Facebook's Whitehat page for security researchers says: 'If you give us a reasonable time to respond to your report before making any information public and make a good faith effort to avoid privacy violations, destruction of data, and interruption or degradation of our service during your research, we will not bring any lawsuit against you or ask law enforcement to investigate you.'
Facebook started paying researchers who find and report security bugs by issuing them custom branded 'White Hat' debit cards that can be reloaded with funds each time the researchers discover new flaws.
'Researchers who find bugs and security improvements are rare, and we value them and have to find ways to reward them,' Ryan McGeehan, former manager of Facebook's security response team, told CNET in an interview.
Stan Schroeder of Mashable questioned how the measurement of 'active' was made, though acknowledging that 'it probably means that users who've just created an account which sits idle for a long period of time aren't included'.
According to the company's data at the July 2010 announcement, half of the site's membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site by mobile.
The company's data also revealed 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads, and 140 billion friend connections.
In November 2015, after skepticism about the accuracy of its 'monthly active users' measurement, Facebook changed its definition of an 'active user', now defining it as a logged-in member who visits the Facebook site through the web browser or mobile app, or uses the Facebook Messenger app, in the last 30 days of the date of measurement.
According to analytics firm comScore, Facebook is the leading social networking site based on monthly unique visitors, having overtaken its main competitor at the time, MySpace, in April 2008.
According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, Facebook is ranked second and first globally respectively, it is the highest-read social network on the Web, with over 20 billion visitors per month, as of 2015[update].
In 2010, Sophos's 'Security Threat Report 2010' polled over 500 firms, 60% of which responded that they believed Facebook was the social network that 'posed the biggest threat to security', well ahead of MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In regional Internet markets, penetration on Facebook is highest in North America (69 percent), followed by Middle East-Africa (67 percent), Latin America (58 percent), Europe (57 percent), and Asia-Pacific (17 percent).
In a 2006 study conducted by Student Monitor, a company specializing in research concerning the college student market, Facebook was named the 'second most popular thing among undergraduates,' tied with beer and only ranked lower than the iPod.
However, in a July 2010 survey performed by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Facebook received a score of 64 out of 100, placing it in the bottom 5% of all private-sector companies in terms of customer satisfaction, alongside industries such as the IRS e-file system, airlines, and cable companies.
There has been a recent case in India where a politician was convicted for 10 years jail term in a serious bribery criminal case but his FB page still continues to be verified.
She noted that users accept terms they would never accept in a more traditional environment, such as 'if a brick-and-mortar business asked to copy all your photographs for its unlimited, unspecified uses'.
Due to allowing users to publish material by themselves, Facebook has come under scrutiny for the amount of freedom it gives users, including copyright and intellectual property infringement,
with its most prominent case concerning allegations that CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke an oral contract with Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra to build the then-named 'HarvardConnection' social network in 2004, instead allegedly opting to steal the idea and code to launch Facebook months before HarvardConnection began.
On November 5, 2017, the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment, revealed that Russian state organizations with ties to Vladimir Putin pursued between 2009 and 2011 large investments in Facebook and Twitter via an intermediary—Russian-American entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who befriended Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
On June 7, 2018, chief privacy officer Erin Egan noted that a software bug had resulted in about 14 million Facebook users having their default sharing setting for all new posts set to 'public'.
During his 2018 Congressional testimony, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that while users have control over data collection for advertising purposes, 'On security, there may be specific things about how you use Facebook, even if you're not logged in, that we keep track of to make sure you're not abusing the systems.'
In March 2018, whistleblowers revealed that personal information from over 87 million Facebook users was sold to Cambridge Analytica, a political data analysis firm that had worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
However, with increasing scrutiny, Facebook issued a statement expressing alarm and suspended Cambridge Analytica, while review of documents and interviews with former Facebook employees suggested that Cambridge Analytica was still in possession of the data.
This is a violation of the consent decree entered into law by Facebook with the Federal Trade Commission, and violations of the consent decree could carry a penalty of $40,000 per violation, meaning that if news reports that the data of 50 million people were shared proves true, the company's possible exposure runs into the trillions of dollars.
Nick Thompson of Wired and CBS News pointed out that Cambridge Analytica obtained all the personal data without having to 'breach' Facebook, and that 'It didn't work because somebody hacked in and broke stuff, it worked because Facebook has built the craziest most invasive advertising model in the history of the world and someone took advantage of it.' On
March 23, 2018, The English High Court granted an application by the Information Commissioner's Office for a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's London offices ending a standoff between Facebook's data team and the Information Commissioner over who is responsible for the forensic searching of the company's servers.
In May 2018, several Android users in California filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook for invading their privacy by unauthorized access in storing personal contact data (especially call and text message history) without users' consent.
When users downloaded this app – called 'thisisyourdigitallife' – information regarding the users' preferred Facebook content as well as their 'home town' could then be accessed by the app.
According to a study done by Jeffery Child and Shawn Starcher in 2015, Facebook is a social media platform where 'both known and unknown audiences can gain access to posted context, increasing the possibility for privacy breakdowns'.
In the hopes of making it easier for users to share or keep their information private, the company ended up modifying the entire site and publicizing a subsequent apology for the situation.
In an effort to earn back public trust, Facebook ended its partnerships with several data brokers who aid advertisers in targeting people on the social network.
Previously, Facebook had its privacy settings spread out over 20 pages, and has now put all of its privacy settings on one page, which makes it harder for third-party apps to access the user's personal information.
In addition to publicly apologizing, Facebook has said that it will be reviewing and auditing thousands of apps that display 'suspicious activities' in an effort to ensure that this breach of privacy doesn't happen again.
In a 2010 report regarding privacy, a research project stated that not a lot of information is available regarding the consequences of what people disclose online so often what is available are just reports made available through popular media.
In comparison, the reputable conservative outlet National Review only got 2.78 million interactions and video views of 11 million over the same period, despite both outlets having similarly sized Facebook followings.
Facebook has said that content that receives 'false' ratings from Facebook-approved fact-checkers can be demonetized and that repeat offenders will be punished with dramatically reduced distribution, yet Facebook provided only six cases in which it fact-checked content on the InfoWars page over the period September 2017 to July 2018.
The parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre called on Facebook to target online abuse related to Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, with the parents noting that they themselves were forced to go into hiding due to harassment from the conspiracy theorists.
Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University and a scholar at the Cato Institute, reported that he had been the subject of death threats from Cesar Sayoc, the man who was arrested for the October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts directed at prominent Democratic politicians.
Solicitors have suggested that Facebook bears responsibility as it protects prominent figures from normal rules of moderation that would usually see a page removed after posting content that violates its rules and that special treatment are financially driven.
In October 2017, Facebook expanded its work with Definers Public Affairs, that had originally been hired to monitor press coverage of the company to address concerns regarding Russian meddling, data sharing, hate speech on Facebook and calls for protection through public policy and regulation.
A research document circulated by Definers to reporters this summer, just a month after the House hearing, cast George Soros, a frequent subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories and hate speech, falsely as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.
has utilized growing internet markets using a social media platform to expand its user base while generating billions of dollars in revenue from Facebook's companies.
Through empirical findings, economists have been able to identify key areas where Facebook has been able to stimulate economic activity by offering a free public good in that one user will not reduce the amount available to another, while also generating positive externalities.
Facebook began to reduce its carbon impact after being publicly criticised by Greenpeace for its long-term reliance on coal power and consequently high carbon footprint.
By the end of 2016, Facebook's total revenue earnings were $27.638 billion, gross profit was $23.849 billion and a net income for the year was $10.188 billion.
Facebook allows people using computers or mobile phones to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet.
It allows users to trade ideas, stay informed with local or global developments, and unite people with common interests and/or beliefs through open, closed and private groups and other pages.
Rather than having to reply to others through email, Facebook allows users to broadcast or share content to others, and thereby to engage others or be engaged with others' posts.
One of the studies that examined the relationship between Facebook and the formation and maintenance of social capital shows that Facebook might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self‐esteem and low life satisfaction.
Another research after analysing of the relationship between users’ needs indicated that informational uses were more correlated to civic and political action than to recreational uses.
Studies have shown that Facebook causes negative effects on self-esteem by triggering feelings of envy, with vacation and holiday photos proving to be the largest resentment triggers.
Other prevalent causes of envy include posts by friends about family happiness and images of physical beauty—such envious feelings leave people lonely and dissatisfied with their own lives.
However, he also found positive effects from Facebook use, including signs of 'virtual empathy' towards online friends and helping introverted persons learn social skills.
He said that 'While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives'.
In a blog post in December 2017, the company pointed to research that has shown 'passively consuming' the News Feed, as in reading but not interacting, does indeed leave users with negative feelings afterwards, whereas interacting with messages points to improvements in well-being.
In an email to The Hill, a spokesman for Facebook said 'Facebook Political Action Committee will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.'
Facebook's role in the American political process was demonstrated in January 2008, shortly before the New Hampshire primary, when Facebook teamed up with ABC and Saint Anselm College to allow users to give live feedback about the 'back to back' January 5 Republican and Democratic debates.
Over a million people installed the Facebook application 'US Politics on Facebook' in order to take part, and the application measured users' responses to specific comments made by the debating candidates.
This debate showed the broader community what many young students had already experienced: Facebook as a popular and powerful new way to interact and voice opinions.
A poll by CBS News, UWIRE and The Chronicle of Higher Education claimed to illustrate how the 'Facebook effect' has affected youth voting rates, support by youth of political candidates, and general involvement by the youth population in the 2008 election.
The new social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, made use first of the personal computer and the Internet, and after 2010 of the smart phones to connect hundreds of millions of people, especially those under age 35.
By the 2016 election, political advertising to specific segments of the population had become normalized, with Facebook offering the most sophisticated targeting and analytics platform in relation to other social media.
Carol Davidsen, the Obama for America (OFA) former director of integration and media analytics, wrote that 'Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn't stop us once they realised that was what we were doing.'
In October 2018, The Daily Telegraph reported that Facebook 'banned hundreds of pages and accounts which it says were fraudulently flooding its site with partisan political content – although they came from the US instead of being associated with Russia.'
Special Council Robert Mueller, contacted Facebook subsequently to the company's disclosure that it sold ads to a Russian Spy Agency-linked company (Internet Research Agency), and the Menlo Park-based company has pledged full cooperation in Mueller's investigation, and began with providing all information about the advertisement buys by the Russian government, including the identities of the individuals and companies who made the purchases.
Pro-Publica also reported on how Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach 'Jew Haters.' Facebook enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of 'Jew hater,' 'How to burn jews,' or, 'History of 'why jews ruin the world.''
The Financial Times reports that United States Senate Intelligence committee seeks further information about Russia links with Facebook, and are stepping up the pressure on Facebook as concerns rise about the role the social media network played in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The Financial Times reports US lawmakers with access to sensitive intelligence have expressed fears that Russia's campaign to influence US politics via Facebook is continuing today even as American investigators probe Moscow's use of social media in the 2016 election.
The Russians took advantage of Facebook's ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics and also sought to sow discord among religious groups.
They used these to create pages, write posts and craft ads that would appear in users' news feeds—with the apparent goal of appealing to one audience and alienating another.
On March 17, 2018, The New York Times and The Observer of London reported the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach in which Cambridge Analytica collected personal information from Facebook users as a basis of crafting political campaigns for whomever purchased their services.
One of the studies examined how millions of Facebook users interact with socially shared news and show that individuals’ choices played a stronger role in limiting exposure to cross-cutting content.
- On Friday, June 5, 2020
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