Facebook Loses Money Following User Information Leak

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. massive / ˈmæs ɪv / (adj) – very large in amount or degree

    There is a massive amount of information about medicine available online.

  2. lucrative / ˈlu krə tɪv / (adj) – profitable

    If you want to make money, invest in a lucrative company.

  3. take a hit / teɪk ə hɪt / (idiom) – to experience damage or loss

    Our product sales took a hit when the quality issue came up.

  4. wake-up call / ˈweɪkˌʌp kɔl / (n) – anything that makes someone understand a problem or danger fully

    The shooting incident was a wake-up call for the government.

  5. mitigate / ˈmɪt ɪˌgeɪt / (v) – to lessen the severity of something

    We need to come up with ways to mitigate the risk of hacking.


Read the text below.

Facebook shares have recently suffered a massive loss after the media reported that a third party was able to access its users’ personal information.

In 2017, Facebook was one of the most lucrative companies in the world, with its stock increasing by 53%. However, the social media company took a hit after it was reported that Cambridge Analytica illegally accessed Facebook’s user information. Cambridge Analytica allegedly used the information to create profiles of American voters, which were used to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US Presidential Election. Because of this, Facebook not only lost $100 billion, it also lost the trust of Americans.

To address the issue, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to fix the problem. The company also ran advertisements in several newspapers in the United States to express its apology.

However, one investor from New York called for organizational changes in Facebook. He said that the issue serves as a wake-up call to social media and Internet companies. This investor also said that Facebook should have independent officers who are experts in data usage and ethics to mitigate the risk of personal information misuse.

Despite the issue, some experts believe that investing in Facebook is still a good idea. For instance, a global Internet analyst believes that investors will earn from buying Facebook stocks because people around the world still use it.

SimilarWeb, a market intelligence platform, supports this idea. The company reported that Facebook usage worldwide is still the same and is not greatly affected by the personal information leak in the United States.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that it is still a good idea to invest in Facebook? Why or why not?
• What other things can Facebook do to regain the trust of its investors and users?

Discussion B

• What would you do if the social media you are using leaked users’ personal information?
• What can other online businesses do to avoid a similar issue?