After a week of crisis and mea culpas from Facebook, assessing the threats and exposure

Greg Sterling | March 26, 2018

After a week of crisis and mea culpas from Facebook, assessing the threats and exposure
Since the Cambridge Analytica data mining revelations that broke a little over a week ago, a lot has happened. After initially seeking to minimize its role in the scandal, Facebook apologized and opened the door to being regulated. A second, related scandal has arisen around the collection of Android users’ calls and SMS histories, which Facebook has sought to clarify. Senators called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, which he has said he is willing do. Dozens of articles are being written about the implications of these controversies and “how to fix Facebook.” There are now five interconnected threats to Facebook in the short and long term. Some are more serious than others. Among these threats, advertisers are the least likely to change their behavior or abandon Facebook. Unless or until there’s some massive structural change in the platform, it’s business as usual for marketers. They’re likely to carry on as though nothing at all were happening. Next is investor disenchantment. Investors have clearly been spooked by the potential implications of Cambridge Analytica. The company lost nearly $50 billion in value in the two days immediately after the bad news came out. Overall, last week, Facebook shares were down about 14 percent.

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