Was 2018 Facebook’s most challenging year?

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Facebook is presumably thrilled to leave 2018 behind as the company has to fix a lot of damage and its brand experience from the past few months. The privacy missteps, the Cambridge Analytica scandal – Facebook remained in the news for all the wrong reasons!

The New York Times even features Facebook in an article about its somewhat misguided efforts to moderate hate speech and manipulated or otherwise harmful content.

Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook – published the companies triumphs and struggles in 2018. The full overview was posted on Mark’s Facebook account as usual. Users around the world reacted with somewhat mixed feelings. Some agreed and some labeled Mark as ‘tone -deaf’.

It’s no surprise that Facebook acknowledges it’s authority and influence on today’s society.

The post reads in part:

For 2018, my personal challenge has been to focus on addressing some of the most important issues facing our community — whether that’s preventing election interference, stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation, making sure people have control of their information, and ensuring our services improve people’s well-being. In each of these areas, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.

We’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago. We’ve fundamentally altered our DNA to focus more on preventing harm in all our services, and we’ve systematically shifted a large portion of our company to work on preventing harm. We now have more than 30,000 people working on safety and invest billions of dollars in security yearly.

To be clear, addressing these issues is more than a one-year challenge. But in each of the areas I mentioned, we’ve now established multi-year plans to overhaul our systems and we’re well into executing those roadmaps. In the past we didn’t focus as much on these issues as we needed to, but we’re now much more proactive.

Throughout the article Mark describes some of the issues the companies had toward battling election interference and the spreading of hateful or harmful content to it’s users. While some measures affected most of the blackhat marketers out there, the whitehat affiliates remain somewhat unphased. Facebook’s new AI system is built from the ground up and designed to discover content related to terrorism. This might not be an issue for affiliates, but the AI is not limited to this function.

2019 will be an interesting year and separate the wolves from the sheep. Blackhat marketing on Facebook is becoming increasingly harder. It’s more or less just an account game at this point. The same landing pages and ads we have seen since years, are still converting like wildfire for most publishers out there. No need to re-invent the wheel.

Whitehat affiliates remain somewhat unphased from all the changes but recent account bans have caused many issues – even for the cleanest pubs – out there.

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