Facebook reported 184 million daily average users in the fourth quarter of 2017, down from 185 million in the third quarter of 2017. This the first such drop since the social media giant began reporting these numbers in its earnings report.
Facebook usage in North America has been largely flat for the last several years, either way, leaving international growth to pick up the slack. But the drop suggests that Facebook usage has reached a saturation point in its first and most lucrative market, and could foretell similar usage drops around the world.
CNBC theorized that one possible reason for the drop is the negative press surrounding Facebook. But it’s not just Facebook admitting to censorship and repeated algorithm changes, as this new trend to control what information is made mainstream has infected most of the tech industry. But the problem isn’t the censorship, apparently. The concern is Americans being too stupid to think for themselves – or as CNBC puts it – over foreign governments using Facebook posts to divide the U.S. electorate during the 2016 election season, and growing concern over violent and other inappropriate content on the site.
Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of Facebook. Maybe those who choose to no longer check Facebook daily have tripped on real life and no longer desire to live their lives staring at a screen. Regardless of the reason for the drop in users, it probably has a lot more to do with censorship of ideas that don’t match a liberal narrative than it does with concerns about what foreign governments do. Free speech should trump anything, and if a person was weak enough that they let one ad on Facebook sway their vote, then perhaps we have the poor education/indoctrination system in the United States to blame.
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