Facebook's value has crashed 30% since July

"Investors are bailing" from Facebook, writes CNN Money. The share price for the disgraced social media firm has dropped 30% since July. Facebook has had a hard time shaking its image as a firm that happily violates users' privacy, manipulates users emotional well-being, doesn't take proper steps to secure users' data, courts advertisers interested in targeting white supremacists, and sells users' behavioral information to unscrupulous entities.

Despite hours of testimony, a blitz of executive interviews and numerous tweaks to its privacy settings, Facebook has yet to put the Cambridge Analytica issue behind it. And now, Facebook faces the prospect of additional regulatory scrutiny after disclosing a new security breach affecting nearly 50 million users.

The longer the privacy backlash continues, not to mention ongoing concerns about election meddling, the more potential for damage to Facebook's core business.

"For the first time, we've heard some grumblings from the advertiser community that the hot water that Facebook is in politically is creating some hesitation on budget allocations (for some)," Ross Sandler, an analyst with Barclays, wrote in an investor note this week.

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Safebook: Facebook without the content

Artist Benjamin Grosser created a browser plugin called Safebook, which removes the content from Facebook. Useful!

Given the harms that Facebook has wrought on mental health, privacy, and democracy, what would it take to make Facebook “safe?” Is it possible to defuse Facebook’s amplification of anxiety, division, and disinformation while still allowing users to post a status, leave a comment, or confirm a friend? With Safebook, the answer is yes! Safebook is Facebook without the content, a browser extension that hides all images, text, video, and audio on the site. Left behind are the empty containers that frame our everyday experience of social media, the boxes, columns, pop-ups and drop-downs that enable “likes,” comments, and shares. Yet despite this removal, Facebook remains usable: you can still post a status, scroll the news feed, “watch” a video, Wow a photo, or unfriend a colleague. With the content hidden, can you still find your way around Facebook? If so, what does this reveal about just how ingrained the site’s interface has become? And finally, is complete removal of all content the only way a social media network can be “safe?”

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Good news: Facebook's web traffic has dropped by almost half in the last two years

A new study revealed that monthly page visits to the user-hostile social media site Facebook have dropped from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion since 2016.

From CNBC:

"Although Facebook's app traffic has grown, it is not enough to make up for that loss, the study said. Facebook took a market tumble last month when it reported that the number of daily active users remained flat in North America in the second quarter, and declined in Europe."

Meanwhile, traffic growth on YouTube is booming and will overtake Facebook as the second most popular website. The top spot is held by Google, which also owns YouTube.

Image: Brian Solis/Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Read the rest