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Facebook Celebrates a Major Anniversary with the Same Controversies

by WOOWinvest
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Facebook Celebrates a Major Anniversary with the Same Controversies

Do you remember where you were on May 18, 2012?

Barack Obama was in the White House and met then French President François Hollande for the first time that night before the G8 summit at Camp David.

“The King of Geeks”

Meanwhile, nearly 3,000 miles away in Menlo Park, California, a young man named Mark Zuckerberg rang the doorbell.

The self-taught computer programmer – described by ABC News as “the king of geeks of a generation” – has announced the first day of trading at Facebook, the social media company he co-founded, now known as Meta Platforms (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A ReportThe echo of the bell can still be felt to this day.

Jay Ritter, a professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business, said: “The first day of FB trading was delayed as the Nasdaq’s systems were overwhelmed by the constant submission and cancellation of buy orders by high-frequency traders. But get angry.”

“Then there was an additional glitch where some investors weren’t notified in time that their orders had been filled, so they bought more shares than they wanted.”

Facebook was quoted at $38.00 and closed at $38.23 on the first day of trading, Ritter said.

Shares then fell below $19 over the next six months as investors worried about whether they could profit from users who increasingly use their mobile phones to access Facebook.

“But the stock has certainly performed very well over the next 9.5 years, exceeding expectations,” Ritter said.


“The King of Geeks of a Generation” “Mixed” “Stronger Stands” “We’re Addicted”

“Mixed Pack”

how good? On May 18, 2022, Facebook’s stock was trading near $200 per share, giving it a market value of about $536 billion.

But that’s down about 47% from its all-time closing price of $382.18 on September 7, 2021.

Just a few months ago on June 28, Meta’s market cap hit $1 trillion.

It’s been a journey for the social networking service, which originally launched as FaceMash in 2003, and membership was limited to Harvard students.

Meta has spread all over the world, reporting 2.936 billion monthly active users in April. Along the way, the company acquired Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus, while Zuckerberg remained chairman and CEO.

But Meta has also been the subject of controversy and ridicule.

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“The only person who wasn’t hurt by the Facebook IPO was Mark Zuckerberg,” said Jennifer Grygiel, an associate professor of communications at Syracuse University.

“Facebook has revolutionized the way we understand ourselves and interact with others in many ways,” said David Schmid, an associate professor of English at the College of Arts and Sciences at Buffalo. “So, as with anything that has such a big impact, the situation Mixed good and bad.”

Advantages include that it allows us to stay in touch with friends and family around the world, share news and information quickly and efficiently, and potentially eliminate feelings of isolation, which is especially important during a pandemic, Schmid said.

“The downsides include wasting time, privacy concerns,” he said. “It’s fair to say that Facebook, like other forms of social media, exacerbates the ‘bubble effect’ where we only interact with people who support and affirm our views of the world.”

“A stronger stand”

That’s a real concern, Schmid said, especially after the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. — where an 18-year-old white man who believed in the “great alternative” theory of racism was killed, authorities say 10 dead — and the role that online radicalization appears to have played in the lives of perpetrators.

“Whether there will be meaningful changes remains to be seen, but I think FB may take a stronger stance than it is currently dealing with the availability of misinformation,” he said.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There have been many scandalous controversies over the years, including the case of British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which harvested data from millions of Facebook profiles and used it to help the presidential campaigns of Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who went on to win election.

The company apologized for their role in data collection, and Zuckerberg testified before Congress.

Three years later, Facebook reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission that would see the company pay a $5 billion fine for breaching privacy.

Arguably the company’s biggest blow to date came last year, when former product manager Frances Haugen revealed in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he was the The mastermind behind the series of documents.

Haugen, who will later testify before Senate members, accused the social media giant of putting profits over the influence of hate speech.

“There’s a conflict of interest between what’s good for the public and what’s good for Facebook,” she said. “Time and time again, Facebook chooses to optimize its own interests, like making more money.”

Facebook has denied the allegations, saying “it would be inaccurate to suggest that we encourage inappropriate content without doing anything… We will continue to make significant improvements to combat the spread of misinformation and harmful content.”

“We are addicted”

The company changed its name to Meta Platforms in October as it sought to move from the much-criticized family of social networks and related apps to what Zuckerberg called the “brick and mortar Internet.”

“Today, we’re seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we’re a company building technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just like when we first started social networking,” He said at the time.

The move to the metaverse proved costly for both Facebook and Zuckerberg, who lost $29.7 billion in their net worth in February, falling from the top 10 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to No. 13 bits.

On April 27, Meta Platforms released a mixed set of first-quarter results.

The company reported its slowest revenue growth in a decade, but also saw a rebound in daily active users, offsetting a nearly $3 billion loss in its Metaverse unit and lower-than-expected near-term forecasts.

That same day, Zuckerberg made $11 billion, the biggest one-day gain in his fortune. He is currently ranked 13th on the Billionaires’ Hot Parade, with an estimated total net worth of $70.9 billion as of May 18.

Schmid dismissed the company’s Metaverse project as “the ultimate cynical rebranding effort, a clear attempt to shake off the negative associations people have with the Facebook brand.”

“Not only does it not work, but I also think it’s unnecessary because millions of people hate Facebook but can’t give up,” he said.

The writer William S. Burroughs once said that heroin was “the ideal product…the ultimate commodity. No sales talk needed,” Schmid said. The customer would crawl down the drain begging to buy it.”

“I think the same goes for Facebook,” Schmid said. “We’re addicted.”

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