As one of the representatives of American technology stocks, Facebook has always been popular with Wall Street.
Despite many setbacks in 2018, Wall Street still looks forward to Facebook: of the 53 analysts Bloomberg is tracking, forty-one gave Facebook a “buy-in” rating with an average price of $187, 25.5% higher than the $149.01 close Friday.
However, in the eyes of many analysts, the sinking of Facebook’s giant ship has begun quietly.
Can Censorship save Facebook?
In 2018, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg apologized globally for user privacy and inappropriate content. A solution to the problem of terror, blood, conflict and hatred is to create a “web censor” mechanism.
However, he did not tell the world that almost all the troops used to resist bad news came from the third world countries.
Working 10 hours a day in front of the computer, browsing 25,000 pictures and videos and deciding whether users should be allowed to share the content. Each of their working days was overwhelmed by all kinds of disgusting content: hate speeches, teen pornography, murder, torture, execution…
In may of last year, a director of the documentary “Web Censor” told CBS when talking about those Internet censors in the Philippines:
“There is no counseling or assistance. The suicide rate is very high here.”
Not only that, the role of the web censor is not as high as the one shown.
Last fall, the New York Times reported that Facebook’s web censors decided whether to delete or block content based on Facebook’s own internal “Guide”: a stack of illogical PPT and glossary forms with various organizational and individual names that may not be appropriate for disseminating content.
However, the guidelines are not written in the native language of the web censors, so many of whom need translation software to understand their meaning at work.
The guardian commented: “as a result, Facebook’s online censorship has gone bankrupt.”
But the failing censorship is only the beginning of a Facebook nightmare.
Advertisers are running away, government regulation is strengthening, market share is shrinking, innovation is stagnating: the sinking of Facebook is just beginning
As a result of the failure of the online censorship system, Facebook’s most important source of revenue, advertising revenue, also encountered bottlenecks. Advertisers are already targeting other platforms.
Cowen, an investment bank, conducted a survey of 50 U.S. advertisers whose advertising budgets were around $14 trillion in 2019.18% of them said it was planning to cut back on Facebook ads. As a result, Cowen predicts that Facebook will lose 3% of its market share in 2019.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department, the Securities Regulatory Commission and FBI, as well as European regulators, have yet to close their investigations into Facebook. Facebook also faces accusations from the United Nations and many third-world countries.
Facebook’s innovation seems to have stalled. In the past few years, Facebook has had little innovation that impressed the market.
Trevor Noren, senior manager of 13D Global Strategy & Research, a research firm, points out that over the past few years, the only brilliant “innovation” is the “Moments”function learned from its competitors, Snapchat.
The obstacles made Facebook’s market share fall significantly. Facebook’s share in the global social media market in December 2018 was 66.3%, according to the latest data released by Statcounter, a data research firm. That’s nine percentage points down from 75.5% in the same period last year. The biggest drop was in the US market, which plunged from 76% to 52%.
It can be said that Facebook’s unique situation in social media is being changed rapidly.
Where is Facebook’s future?
Facebook is in a bad situation, and the failure of Internet censorship is one of the most important reasons. In the last quarter of 2018, although Facebook has already claimed to step up its censorship, there are still a series of scandals.
Facebook points out that its cyborg has been able to block 96% of the bad content, and the remaining 4% are done by the artificial censors mentioned above.
It looks like a huge success, but if we take into account the huge Internet content base, every one of the “missing fish” could do great harm.
According to Guardian, Facebook has 2.27 billion monthly users worldwide, with 510,000 comments, 293,000 new messages and 136,000 photos per minute posted on the platform.
In view of the working conditions of the network inspector, it is hard to avoid missing the net in the face of such a huge amount of information.
What is undeniable, says Noren, is that Facebook is available to many people, and the same cannot be blamed on Facebook for war and murder. But for a company that is focused on making profits, Facebook’s social responsibility may be too great.
Noren also pointed out that governments and people around the world are beginning to realize the problem and are moving away from Facebook. For Facebook’s board of directors, the future will either continue to choose to turn a blind eye to these issues or to change their business thinking thoroughly.
For Facebook’s future, this week the company will publish its quarterly financial report, and we may be able to get a glimpse of it.