Facebook’s Q3 profit reaches $9 bn regardless of leaked papers scandal

15:55, 26 October 2021
Facebook’s Q3 profit reaches $9 bn regardless of leaked papers scandal Photo:

The company which faces a serious reputation scandal announced that its earnings in the third quarter turned out to be better-than-expected.

Facebook declared its third-quarter earnings of $9.19 bln up from $7.8 bln in 2020, or $3.22 a share, surpassing the $2.71 a share it reported last year. However, the company missed its revenue forecasts ($31.5 bln to $34 bln versus $34.72 bln predicted).

Still, Mark Zuckerberg’s company regards it as a good result taking into account the leaked “Facebook Papers” - the research conducted by 17 US outlets unveiling details on Facebook’s handling of the 6 January Capitol riots while dealing with hate speech in languages other than English, and a privacy update to Apple's iOS 14.

“It reflects the significant uncertainty we face in the fourth quarter in light of continued headwinds from Apple’s iOS 14 changes, and macroeconomic and COVID-related factors,” Facebook’s CFO David Wehner said.

The situation is aggravated by former employee Frances Haugen’s accusations that the enterprise prioritizes profit and not its users’ safety. Haugen has presented Facebook’s internal documents to the public and the outlets. She is now seeking whistleblower status.

Facebook representatives deny the accusations, highlighting that more than 40,000 are hired to keep the platform safe for its users.

“Yes, we’re a business and we make profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people’s safety or wellbeing misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie.”

Facebook is being scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators. The company faces an antitrust suit accusing Facebook of anticompetitive practices.

Despite the scandal, Facebook Inc. announced that the number of active users of the social network and other services including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, has grown with 2,8 bln people using the platforms daily (+11% compared with the last year) and 3,58 bln monthly users (+12%).

Earlier in October, the services suffered a global outage that lasted for around seven hours. Some 2 bln users could not connect to Facebook’s platform due to a "faulty configuration change" that interfered with its DNS servers. The company recorded losses of more than $5 bln after the incident.