Facebook celebrates profitable quarter despite mounting criticism and allegations

Despite the recent whistleblower scandal, Facebook generated "better-than-expected" revenue, this quarter, totalling US$9bn.
Despite the recent whistleblower scandal, Facebook generated “better-than-expected” revenue this quarter, totalling US$9bn.

The tech giant Facebook has shared that it has made a US$9bn profit in the last three months; an increase from $7.8bn last year. In addition, it has had a 6% year-on-year increase in active daily users, which totals around 1.93 billion as of September 2021. Due to a boom in online advertising, the social media giant has increased revenue by $29.01bn.

This news is a surprise for many as the company has faced considerable backlash in the wake of the former employee whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who has accused the tech giant of placing profit above public health. Haugen revealed herself as the Facebook whistleblower after leaking a cache of internal documents that place Facebook in a damning light. She shared the several thousand documents with the Wall Street Journal, revealing that the company was lying about its progress on handling misinformation and violence.

“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” she said.

Haugen joined Facebook in 2019 as a product manager on its civic integrity team, which focuses on election-related issues globally. She cites her decision to join Facebook as a personal mission to combat misinformation. However, her decision to expose Facebook stemmed from her shock at company policies that prioritized profit over public safety. “The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world,” she said.

“No one at Facebook is malevolent,” Haugen told 60 Minutes. She said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder “has never set out to make a hateful platform”. Despite this, the company still needs to take responsibility for its choices, she said.

Possible rebrand in the wake of allegations

According to a trusted source obtained by The Verge, Facebook is going to rebrand itself. This news follows hot on the heels of the revelation from a whistleblower that Facebook has been managing its users’ safety poorly and Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to develop the metaverse. According to The Verge, the rebrand is going to be announced in one week at the Facebook Connect conference on 28th October. 

What is the metaverse?

“It’s a virtual environment,” explained Zuckerberg. “We can be present with people in digital spaces. And you can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. And we believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet.

“You’re going to be able to access the metaverse from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices.

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“Within the metaverse, you can build a hangout, play games with friends, work, create and more. You’re basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the internet today, as well as some things that don’t make sense on the internet today like dancing.

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Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

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