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Friday, July 27, 2018
Guess that censorship at Facebook wasn't such a good idea
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was set for a big down day Thursday after disappointing
quarterly results from Facebook sent the social media giant hurtling
toward its biggest share price decline ever and on
track to lose more than $100 billion in market value.
The Invesco QQQ
Trust, which tracks the Nasdaq 100 index and can give traders a good idea
of how the Nasdaq stocks will trade, was down more than 2 percent at one point
in after-hours trading Wednesday. At last count, the ETF was off by
about 1.5 percent. Facebook lost
about a fifth of its value after hours.
Nasdaq 100 futures were off by 0.8 percent.
The reasons seem kind
of obvious. Earnings are down, and that means that people aren't
using the site the way analysts projected. Privacy concerns are
what's most often discussed, along with lower overseas growth, and there is
probably something to it, as the earnings figures can be studied for impact and
areas of underperformance. But I think censorship has taken a toll,
Seriously, do you
feel as enthusiastic about Facebook as you did before all the censorship
stories rolled out? The declaration of Diamond and Silk as
"dangerous to the community" by Facebook's censors at its YouTube
subsidiary? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's mixed-reviews
congressional appearance? Did you want to use Facebook after
learning that the company is composed solely of leftist hipsters who have it in
for the right? Those were the news items as this profit report was
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Sure, one can argue
that Facebook's users aren't Facebook's customers, given that the revenue
streams flow from its advertisers and data-aggregators. But without
those users, enthusiastically slapping everything they know and do on their
Facebook pages as they have, of what use is the diminishing data, sold to the
Maybe Facebook would
see a turnaround if it returned to its roots and scrapped the censorship at
least. After all, terrorists and spray shooters are getting away
with their posts while conservatives are being censored. This isn't
necessarily all the work of hipster censors looking only for conservatives to
silence – it's also because the job of censorship is too big for the company to
handle. Facebook could easily make amends by hiring conservatives,
for one, and getting out of the censorship business altogether by claiming a
status similar to the telephone company, which is never responsible for the
conversations of its customers.
Hate to see this
company go completely downhill. Maybe market discipline will snap it
into a more palatable business model for conservatives and liberals
alike. Usually, that's what it takes.