Facebook Roundup, February 14, 2022


Markets Insider: JPMorgan downgrades Facebook parent Meta for the first time ever and removes it from its top-ideas list after earnings disaster. “…most analysts reiterated their ‘Buy’ or ‘Overweight’ rating on Meta, except for JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth. He downgraded the company to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Overweight,’ and lowered its year-end 2022 price target to $284 from $385. Additionally, Meta was removed from JPMorgan’s Analyst Focus List, essentially its ‘top ideas.'”

CNET: Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel leaves Meta board. “Peter Thiel, one of the earliest investors in Facebook and a board member since 2005, is leaving the company’s board. Thiel won’t stand for reelection at the 2022 annual meeting, Meta said Monday.”


New York Times: 6 Reasons Meta Is in Trouble. “Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, suffered its biggest one-day wipeout ever on Thursday as its stock plummeted 26 percent and its market value plunged by more than $230 billion…. Here are six reasons that Meta is in a difficult spot.”

Mashable: No one is on Facebook, so how are we inviting friends to parties and shows?. “A decade ago, when you made a new friend IRL, you’d add them on Facebook. You’d see each others’ posts and, eventually, when you wanted to invite them to a party, you’d create an event page and add them to it. But now, when you meet someone new, maybe you’ll follow them on Instagram or Twitter or no social media at all. And none of those platforms have a solid way to invite someone to an event.”

CNET: Instagram urged by religious leaders to scrap plans for kids app. “Instagram’s plans to build a version of its photo-and-video sharing app for people under 13 years old is still sparking criticism, even after the company paused the project in September. On Tuesday, child protection nonprofit Fairplay sent a letter signed by more than 75 religious leaders that urges Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to permanently end plans to launch Instagram Kids. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, owns Instagram.”

Mashable: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen explains how the algorithm is dividing Trevor Noah’s audience. “Whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen joined Daily Show host Trevor Noah to discuss concerning revelations about the company’s impact on society which she famously leaked last year. Explaining how Facebook’s algorithm prioritises content, Haugen noted that while she doesn’t think it’s intentionally divisive, that’s certainly the end result.” Video, obviously, but it IS captioned.


7 News: Thousands at risk after Cleaning & Organising Inspiration Australia Facebook group is stolen and sold off by hackers. “Joelle is the founder and was the sole administrator of the incredibly popular Cleaning & Organising Inspiration Australia Facebook group. Since creating the group six years ago, she has “spent many hours daily” building it into a ‘supportive and inspiring community’ for hundreds of thousands of Australians. But Joelle said that all came crashing down during the night of January 17 when she woke to feed her baby and discovered that her Facebook account had been deactivated and her group had been stolen by hackers.”

SecurityWeek: Meta Sues Two Nigerians Who Lured Facebook Users to Phishing Sites. “Between March 2020 and October 2021, the social media giant says, the two individuals – Arafat Eniola Arowokoko and Arowokoko Afeez Opeyemi – lured Facebook and Instagram users to phishing websites in an attempt to harvest credentials and compromise their financial services accounts. To make sure they can perform the nefarious activities unhindered, the defendants employed a network of more than 800 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts.”

BBC: Meta told to overhaul policies over doxxing fears. “Meta’s Oversight Board has advised the social network to change its policy on allowing the sharing of people’s addresses, even if the information is considered public. Meta requested the advice last year – the first time it has asked the board to help define one of its policies.”

Washington Post: Why Facebook’s antitrust problem in Congress isn’t going away. “Facebook shares tumbled by some 25 percent last week when the company reported that it expects slower growth due to changes to Apple’s privacy settings and difficulties in capitalizing on Instagram Reels, its answer to the short-video sensation TikTok. The company, which renamed itself Meta last fall in a pivot toward virtual reality, also reported that its flagship Facebook app lost daily users for the first time. Facebook, along with Apple, Amazon and Google, are the tech behemoths whose ballooning wealth and power served as impetus for antitrust reform.”


The Atlantic: Facebook Has a Superuser-Supremacy Problem. “For more than a year, we’ve been analyzing a massive new data set that we designed to study public behavior on the 500 U.S. Facebook pages that get the most engagement from users. Our research, part of which will be submitted for peer review later this year, aims to better understand the people who spread hate and misinformation on Facebook. We hoped to learn how they use the platform and, crucially, how Facebook responds. Based on prior reporting, we expected it would be ugly. What we found was much worse.”

CNN: Facebook has successfully overhauled its business before. This time will be harder. “Meta’s business is under threat on a variety of fronts. Its user base is stagnating (and aging). Its core advertising business is being challenged by operating system changes made by fellow tech giant Apple. And a series of scandals have placed the company under the microscope of regulators, limiting its ability to buy its way to continued growth through acquisitions (though it has been gobbling up a number of small companies for its push into the metaverse).”

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