Let’s just consider a few headlines from the last month:
- Chicago teen gang-raped on Facebook Live as 40 watched (CNET, March 21, 2017)
- Facebook’s kiddie porn problem is only getting worse (New York Post, April 14, 2017)
- Facebook streams a murder, and now must face itself (Wired, April 17, 2017)
How is Facebook (FB) stock withstanding this recent onslaught of sickening stories? Just fine, thank you. The stock is up 22% year-to-date. Even today, with a multi-state manhunt underway for a man who allegedly killed someone and posted a video of it on Facebook (FB), shares are up more than 1%. For Wall Street it may just be the cost of doing business when you have a community of 1.23 billion daily active users.
Could this become a problem for the stock? One Wall Street analyst (who didn’t want to be named) thinks “eventually, it could become a problem, if advertisers react.” Just as we saw with Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) problem over offensive videos on You Tube last month, if advertisers say they don’t want to be placed next to certain videos, that’s a big issue.
For its part, in a statement, Facebook said: “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
This weekend’s shooting in Ohio comes just two days before Tuesday’s F8, Facebook’s annual global development conference. At last year’s meeting, Live was recently launched and highly promoted.