Facebook has done it again.
As the company fights growing backlash against its political advertising policies and new pressure from lawmakers, Facebook is proving once again that seemingly no scandal is big enough to affect its bottom line — at least for now.
The company delivered its results for the third-quarter of 2019, revealing that it had taken in $17.7 billion while growing its daily active users to 1.62 billion — both comfortably ahead of analysts’ expectations for the beleaguered social media giant.
Facebook’s latest financial results came just after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Twitter would no longer accept political ad dollars from candidates or outside organizations. Though Dorsey didn’t call out Facebook or Zuckerberg by name, he made clear that he believes Facebook’s own explanation for its political ad policies is “not credible.”
These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.
For instance, it‘s not credible for us to say: “We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want! ”36.8K1:35 AM – Oct 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy5,821 people are talking about this
The topic of political advertising has become a hot-button issue for the company, and last week, Zuckerberg faced sharp questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the company’s refusal to fact check ads from politicians. The company has also faced pushback from its own employees over the issue.
During a call with investors Wednesday, Zuckerberg made clear he has no plans on changing his position.
“Although I’ve considered whether we should not carry these ads in the past, and I’ll continue to do so, on balance so far I’ve thought we should continue,” he said during his prepared remarks.
“It’s hard to define where to draw the line… I believe the better approach is to work to increase transparency.”
He also attempted to dispel claims that his positions are financially motivated, saying he expects political ads to make up just .5 percent of the company’s revenue in 2020.
“I can assure you, from a business perspective, the controversy this creates far outweighs the very small percent of our business that these political ads make up. We believe deeply that political speech is important and should be able to be heard, and that’s what’s driving us” he said.