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Facebook’s Terrible, Awful, No Good Day

Facebook’s Terrible, Awful, No Good Day

August 2, 2012, was a day when the world issued a collective unlike to Facebook.

Its stock fell another four percent and even went below the $20 mark (to $19.82) before closing at $20.04. All told, Facebook’s stock is down 47 percent from its May 17th IPO.

Two of Facebook’s senior executives, Katie Mitic (former director of platform marketing) and Ethan Beard (head of platform partnerships), announced they are leaving the social media company for other, yet unspecified opportunities. Back in June, former chief technology officer Bret Taylor had said he was leaving Facebook to embark on his own venture.

9 percent of Facebook’s users are fake, the company announced. That is, some 83 million of its 955 million active accounts are illegitimate. 4.8 percent are duplicates; 2.4 percent are “user-misclassified” (the accounts are personal profiles for pets, businesses or organizations); 1.5 percent are “undesirable,” meaning that they contain fake names and (according to documents from Facebook) are “intended to be used for purposes that violate our terms of service, such as spamming.”

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones says that these problems are “particularly acute in developing countries like Indonesia and Turkey where Facebook is enjoying rapid growth.” These fake users generate scores of fake “likes,” Cellan-Jones explains. He investigated this by setting up a fake company, Virtual Bagel:

His investigation found that the large majority of “likes” for the fake firm originated from the Middle East and Asia.

Many users appeared to be false, such as “Ahmed Ronaldo” – apparently a Cairo-based user who is employed by Spanish football club Real Madrid.

All of these fake “likes” bode very badly for Facebook’s advertising revenues, an area that has been routinely noted as a source of concern. The assumption had been made that, since Facebook has so much access to so much personal data from users, the company has a potential gold mine in profits if it can just figure out how to finesse the ad situation. But Cellan-Jones’s investigation suggests that many of those “liking” an ad are not real, actual human beings who would actually, really buy something.

Indeed, digital distribution firm Limited Press has found that 80 percent of clicks on its ads on Facebook are from fake users:

In a post on its Facebook page, the company said: “Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply.

“Do we know who the bots belong too [sic]? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lost about $4.7 billion on paper but the losses are also affecting the state of California. Due to Facebook’s share price falling so below projected revenues, the state faces the loss of “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue from taxes on capital gains that it was banking on.

With shocking rapidness in the months after its IPO, Facebook is turning into, if not “Fakebook,” a very different story.
Related Care2 Coverage

Step Away From the Computers, Says Silicon Valley

Facebook’s Share Price Falls To New Low: Time To Logout?

Facebook Tells You Who’s Been Looking At Group Pages

 

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Photo by B Rosen

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40 comments

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10:45PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thanks for the post.

9:38AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Jessica Ghawi, Gabrielle Giffords, the Sikh Temple...lots of armed sociopaths out there who will end your life for thinking a certain way, living a certain way or looking a certain way......servers can be broken into by hackers, imagine ....Facebook has got everything on you including your PHONE NUMBER. Protect Yourselves.

9:20AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Could someone start a petition asking Care2 to remove the "Share my comment on Facebook"?
It is automatically checked, so if you have a memory lapse and forget to uncheck it - Facebook will now know to track you back here. And now not only do they own your pictures, know who your friends, families ( and enemies are), but they will know where you stand on any issue....and lord knows who facebook is in bed with....

5:57AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

So, what does the picture have to do with this article? I only skimmed the article, whaat did I miss?

9:35AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

I like Facebook. I find it unfortunate that so many people, rather than living their own dream, prefer to try and tear down somebody else's. Some people would rather somebody else fail than focus on creating their own success. Why? With the horrors of deforestation, extreme cruelty to animals, governmental oppression, human trafficking, and other very serious issues facing any thinking, feeling individual today, I don't really understand why people would criticize a social media outlet that really has connected many people with friends, causes, and allowed them to stay in touch with those they care about. I will continue to use Facebook and find it quite helpful in my life. I enjoy it.

9:02AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

WASTE!!

10:18PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

Have it only because it seems so necessary to do so today. I visit maybe once a month in case someone can't contact me any other way (more due to their lifestyle then mine).

I also strongly resent their presence here and elsewhere but here especially. I can't believe how often I must UNCLICK "post on facebook". It shouldn't be automatic or randomly "automatic" which seems to be what's happening lately.
Have to admit I'm heartily sick of all my groups, charities, etc with the ever present "post to facebook now" bs and even worse the email followups asking you to "post on facebook"! Yes! I get that getting the info out is important but facebook isn't the end all be all!

8:40PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

Just a website..

7:40PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

t.y.

7:31PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

I loathe Facebook. I have never and will never be a part of it. I consider it an invasion of my privacy. If I can't call someone, write a letter, email or visit in person, then I really don't have anything I want out in front of the world for everyone to see. My privacy is very important to me and I guard it zealously. I am proud to be Old School. These people today have no real sense of Self.

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