Social Media Betrays Users’ Trust, Facebook And Twitter Shares Plummets

Image Source: Reuters

Image Source: Reuters

This week caused an unsurprising stir among social media users as the two giants of social media, Facebook and Twitter, saw their share values drop. For Facebook, almost a whopping 20% drop devalued the company by $119 billion, reducing its CEO’s, Mark Zuckerberg’s, net worth of about $15 billion along with it. For Twitter, it also lost nearly 20% amidst Jack Dorsey’s failing struggle to cater to the two sides of the current political divide on Twitter.


Image Source: BBC

Image Source: BBC

Facebook’s situation was like watching a man commit a crime, get charged, get judged, and ultimately get executed happening in a span of several years. Due to the many controversies that they got themselves into that ultimately endanger their users’ information’s safety it wasn’t surprising that, on the morning of Thursday, their shares opened at 20% lower than it was the day before.

The drop occurred after Facebook executives said that the company was facing two years of lower profit margins, which made everyone think that Facebook’s business model might be in danger due to the recent string of events that plagued social media these days. The Cambridge Analytica was easily one of the biggest privacy scandals that hit Facebook in recent years. Another problem plaguing Facebook these days are the fake news and misinformation that are being posted around the platform.

However, Facebook isn’t thrown into a panic with these turn of events. Despite this 20% fall, their value is still higher than it was in March this year.


Image Source: BBC

Image Source: BBC

Twitter’s case is similar: they lost almost 20% value as they announced that their user base has lost 1 million monthly active users from the first quarter to the second quarter and is predicted to continue falling as the company fights fake news, fake accounts, and accusations of censorship. It doesn’t help that they are in the middle of another controversy when Donald Trump tweeted that Twitter was allegedly shadow banning Republican politicians on their platform. Twitter said in a statement:

“We are confident that this is in the best long-term interest of the platform and will enable long-term growth as we improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter.”

Twitter puts the blame on their increasing efforts to clean up their platform, as well as the increased privacy rules in Europe. However, the investors were clearly not impressed. Some analysts noted that they don’t see any improvement on the platform and that any changes made to it never really made an impact on Twitter’s ability to attract new users. There is, however, a growth in its daily active users, though how much, Twitter didn’t clarify.

Fake Users, Fake Numbers

Both social media platforms blame getting rid of fake users as the reason they’ll be seeing lower profits in the next few months. It is a real no-brainer when you consider the fact that the number of fake accounts they have to get rid off are in millions. Some accounts are alternative accounts used by people should their main account get suspended or banned for some reason. Some accounts are used as sockpuppets used to post stuff that is divisive, offensive, and may even be illegal in nature. Then there are accounts that use bots to automate posts for various reasons.

Creation of such accounts gives a false sense of user growth to a platform. Imagine a person making two accounts instead of one and that 1 out of 10 people makes two accounts. If you have 5 million users, that’s already 500,000 accounts. Efforts to remove such accounts can definitely cause lower total users count and lower active users count on both platforms that have people making three or several more accounts.

Sadly, there is no way to prevent users from making multiple accounts. All these platforms can do is use the data they are able to gather to analyze the behavior of said accounts and decide if they are fake accounts or not. They can also rely on other users’ input, but that sadly gives bad users abusable power to use against other users.