A Collection of Problems at Facebook

1. A 16-year-old South Sudanese girl was sold off for marriage to the highest bidder on Facebook in November. Facebook says it removed the post as soon as it became aware of it, but by then the girl had already been married off. Child marriage is illegal in South Sudan, but the practice remains widespread with more than half of all girls married before they are 18. A business tycoon won the auction. He offered 530 cows, three Land Cruiser V8 cars and $10,000 in exchange for Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang’s hand in marriage.

2. TechCrunch has an internal Facebook memo from Facebook’s head of public policy Elliot Schrage. Schrage blames himself for hiring PR firm Definers to push negative stories about competitors. They spread negative publicity about Google and other tech giants to make Facebook look better. They attacked George Soros and undermine critics by publicizing their association with the billionaire Jewish philanthropist.

3. Nielsen’s data shows that U.S. Facebook usage was already under pressure during much of 2016 and 2017. This was even including Instagram, which was growing strongly during this time, and WhatsApp.

Facebook sent 25 percent less traffic to publishers this year, while Google increased its traffic by 17 percent, according to Parse.ly.

4. Facebook had 167.9 million monthly users in the US in 2017, representing 61.1% of internet users and 86.5% of social network users. eMarketers reports definite weakness in Facebook usage that is becoming more noticeable, both in survey results and in Facebook’s own statements. That weakness stems from a variety of factors, including social media fatigue.