back to article Privacy? Watchdogs? Fines? Whatever, nerds, more people than ever are using Facebook and filling its deep coffers

Facebook is stronger than ever, despite the best efforts of the US government to rein it in over privacy and legal violations. The House of Zuck on Wednesday revealed gains [PDF] in revenues, daily active users, and mobile advertising in the second quarter of 2019, as it took those massive settlement fees in its stride. For …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more people than ever are using Facebook

    more people than ever are using Facebook

    I despair at the folly of the human race on occasions.

    1. NetBlackOps

      Re: more people than ever are using Facebook

      If you believe their numbers. I sure don't and lawsuits on point teeing.up.

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: more people than ever are using Facebook

        More "people" are using Facebook.

        Gordon Dimmack counted as hundreds of people in Facebook's statistics at the height of his internet marketing career and he was hardly prolific. Facebook's final form will be 200 billion advertising bots talking to each other while they try to find the last fleshy users in the noise, unaware that they died months ago.

  2. Jamesit

    "more people than ever are using Facebook."

    I thought Facebook used people.

  3. Joe W Silver badge

    "we need politicians to lay down some rules"

    Sure, as if you were abiding by the current rules and regulations. But then the fines are so low, it's just a normal cost of doing business. I hope that they get hit by GDPR, 4% of annual turnover is no longer small change.

    1. samkam

      Re: "we need politicians to lay down some rules"

      4% of turnover based on this quarter will be 1.3 Billion USD while they are fined 5 Billion. If you are earning about 50% margin in your business model...fines like these are just cost of doing business.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "we need politicians to lay down some rules"

        "Net income was $2.6bn, a 49 per cent decrease on the quarter. This is largely due to a $2bn wedge Facebook coughed up, in addition to the $3bn already set aside, to foot the $5bn settlement fee"

        On this basis the expected net income was $4.6bn per quarter. That means a $5bn fine wiped out more than a quarter's profits albeit spread over more than the single quarter.

        Of course fines on any scale are a cost of doing business. What else could they be? They're not income, a loan or a capital investment. I'm not sure, however that fines wiping out a quarter's profits are just a cost of doing business. In any business with a sensible share structure the board would be being held to account by the shareholders. What you really need to look at is why this doesn't happen to FB.

        Having written that it strikes me that the main difference between FB and most other corporations is that most other corporations are in thrall to a stock market that concentrates on quarterly results. Clearly Zuck is prepared to look long term. Perhaps there's a lesson there of sorts for other businesses.

        1. NetBlackOps

          Re: "we need politicians to lay down some rules"

          That's easy. Zuck has more than 50% of the voting stock. He doesn't have to listen to Wall Street, although he does pay attention.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "we need politicians to lay down some rules"

      They are never going to regulate themselves to anybody's satisfaction, if politicians lay down a set of rules, there will be droves of lawyers looking for the loopholes which will be exploited immediately. Any complaints will then be aimed at the politicians.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More people already addicted to FB are using FB more than ever???

    This is news?

    FB and other so called social media sites are nowt more than digital drug pushers.

    People get addicted to them. They dare not miss a tweet or post or anything for fear of becoming a social outcast with their similarly addicted friends.

    The sooner these things come with health warnings the better as far as I'm concerned.

    I've never been on FB and all my family have either come off it completely or only use it where there is no option (eg PTA meetings).

    Stop using social media and get your life back.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: More people already addicted to FB are using FB more than ever???

      "Stop using social media and get your life back."

      A bit arrogant. I'm not a user of FB or any other social media platform. In my experience though, the people who are most avid social media users are (A) those who don't really appear to have much going on in their lives, or (B) don't have the opportunity to do much with their lives in the first place, and are using it to fill a hole. Then there are those that seem to need the attention and adulation of others to reinforce their own insecurities and get off on believing that others are really interested in what they are up to.

      I guess in the middle of it all are lots and lots of other people who just use it to conveniently stay in touch and maybe post a few holiday snaps.

      So in terms of "get your life back", please do tell... what sort of life do you have that enables you to take the high ground over those that maybe do want to use it for any of the above? As far as I can tell FB is no more an existential time filler as any other activity such as running, watching TV, cave diving or playing the fiddle.

      1. popetackler

        Re: More people already addicted to FB are using FB more than ever???

        "the people who are most avid social media users are (A) those who don't really appear to have much going on in their lives, or (B) don't have the opportunity to do much with their lives in the first place, and are using it to fill a hole."

        A bit arrogant, presuming you can fit (very) roughly 3 billion social media users into two small boxes.

  5. revenant Silver badge

    Fines are fine

    It holds no executive personally liable for years of privacy violations and misleading statements made by the company."

    That's the reason why nothing, short of really serious, damaging, fines will change the behaviour of the likes of Facebook.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Fines are fine

      And they probably have enough money to just lawyer it away. I bet if pressed, they may even find a way to neuter the GDPR.

  6. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Zuck to Uncle Sam: Go ahead, regulate me, regulate me like the naughty little ******* *itch I am.

    FTFY

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "the settlement shields the company from responsibility"

    And who thought that was a good idea ? How is it that someone thought giving FaceBook a blank slate was a good thing ?

    When a criminal is caught stealing, he doesn't get forgiven for anything the cops have not yet found.

    Disgusting.

    1. Happy_Jack

      Re: "the settlement shields the company from responsibility"

      When a criminal is caught stealing he will typically ask for a number of similar offences to be taken into consideration. If he's subsequently found to have committed another offence then he's already paid the price.

  8. cmaurand

    More bots

    More bots are using facebook than ever before.

  9. Unbleached White Girl

    Talk poo-poo all you want about Facebook...

    ...but in wildfire country (Northern California) it's literally been a lifesaver. On 9/12/15, when the Valley Fire hit suddenly, fast, and hard, our notification came in the form of Reverse 911 calls.

    The land lines were down in less than 2 hours. So they resorted to having 5 deputies driving house-to-house, usually evacuees saw them pulling up their driveways in their rearview mirrors.

    They later estimated that 90% of the residents had self-evacuated - because it was hot & smokey, or they saw there was a fire on Facebook. It was chaos. A few of my friends had to drive thru a "wall of fire".

    At Harbin, a local resort, they began evacuating some 800 guests, residents, & crew well ahead of the notification, which came when the fire was already upon them.

    For the next 2 weeks we were glued to Facebook, as support groups, info groups, etc. were formed. Best wishes, prayers, and blessings were sent from around the world. Videos, maps, photos were posted, missing people were located, animal rescues were done, stories were shared, evac centers were set up, necessities were donated, friendships were formed. People in the fire area posted updates and encouragement for those of us on the outside. And during the recovery process we used Facebook to exchange information.

    We still do, in fact. And every year, when fires hit other parts of California we go on Facebook to offer whatever help we can. . A CSI friend of mine said he'd never had much use for Facebook before the fire. It's funny though, isn't it?

    I mean, Facebook, of all things. Who'd have thought?

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