After the scandal about Cambridge Analytica broke and the public caught wind that apps were collating personal user information from Facebook for technocratic purposes, a lot of public trust in the company was dampened. Stock prices dropped by 13% after the news broke, and now Congress has called Facebook executives to speak about the user privacy concerns in a hearing.
The Hill is reporting that Facebook isn’t in the clear. The company is also now losing major ad support from international banks, tech companies, and even Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser.
Pep Boys, the auto-parts store, decided to pull ads from Facebook, along with Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank. Peripheral maker Sonos also pulled ads from Facebook.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook has lost around $60 million worth of market valuation after it was discovered Cambridge Analytica utilized data acquisition across more than 50 million Facebook accounts.
Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, also pulled the Tesla and SpaceX pages from Facebook on March 23rd, 2018. Space.com reported that the pages had more than 5 million followers, which is likely a minor but notable blow to Facebook’s commercial and corporate reach for various market demographics.
Many Conservatives were already soured on Facebook after it was discovered employees at the social media company had been suppressing Conservative views and censoring news from outlets like Breitbart during the 2016 election. Facebook fired the employees and replaced them with AI bots. Nevertheless, it appears it’s now more than just Conservatives who are soured on the company, despite the fact that Facebook has been encroaching on speech and making efforts to control communication and manipulating feeds based on user data for quite some time, as reported by Forbes in a 2014 report.
Unfortunately, The Hill is reporting that many major companies are only temporarily suspending ads, so they will likely reinstate commercial advertising on Facebook once the negative news reports about Cambridge Analytica die down.