In Light of Recent Backlash, Facebook Revenue Surges

April 30, 2018 - 3 minutes read

Although new information keeps popping up about the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook’s data, the social media giant’s profits are surging.

Facebook’s Faltering… Or Is It?

Recently, it came to light that Facebook signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan, the data scientist and app developer involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, spilled the beans about it while testifying in front of UK parliamentarians.

Kogan created an app revolving around a quiz, called “This Is Your Digital Life”. It harvested players’ Facebook data in addition to their friends’ data. The data was then given to political research firm Cambridge Analytica. The London-based company used the data to run political campaigns on Trump’s platform to sway users’ political opinions.

The NDA wasn’t known about until just last week. Why wasn’t it brought up by Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress? Or released through a press release drafted up by Facebook’s best legal and PR employees? The document, signed in early 2016, makes Kogan promise that he won’t misuse the data he scraped from the platform. Facebook alleges they enforced the NDA requirement after he provided records showing he deleted the data.

Is Kogan a Scapegoat?

After The Guardian wrote about the app and Kogan in 2015, it was removed from Facebook’s app marketplace. The company then allegedly requested that Kogan delete any data he still had. He says, “They asked us to delete the data, and then certify that we deleted the data, and we went through that process and deleted the data as best we could, and checked every way we could. That was done during the first half of 2016.”

Facebook’s Vice President of Product says, “In hindsight, we should have followed up to confirm he had deleted the information, as well as notified the people impacted — both of which are now happening.”

Kogan only confirmed the existence of the document, but he did not comment any further. His lawyer passed him a note, and Kogan said, “You’ll have to ask Facebook,” when a politician questioned him. Kogan claims he’s the scapegoat for Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

Is Facebook Too Big to Fail?

Regardless of this recent controversy and all of the other ones since the 2016 presidential election, Facebook recently reported a quarterly per-share profit of $1.69, an increase from $1.04 the prior year. Revenue spiked by almost 50 percent, reaching $11.97 billion. A year ago, net income was $3.06 billion. This has risen by 63 percent to a new value of $5 billion.

In light of all the scandals, these numbers obviously exceeded analysts’ expectations. Right now, it seems like Facebook will live through all of these current troubles to fight another day. And if the figures say anything, it’s also stronger than ever before. 

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