Facebook crosses 2 Billion Active Users Mark

On 27 June, Mark Zuckerberg posted, “As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people”. This is the first time that such a platform has crossed 2 billion active users mark. This number is bigger than the population of any single country, in fact, it is more than the population of China, USA, and Indonesia combined which rank number 1, 3 and 4 in population worldwide.

If Facebook were a country, then it would be the most populated, and if it were a religion, then it would be second most followed.

Facebook is the most popular social media site in the world, in the league of only 4 social media sites or apps, used by 1 billion+ users, the only one not owned by Facebook is Youtube, the other two are WhatsApp and Messenger, both part of Facebook. According to Alexa.com, worldwide Facebook is the third most visited site, behind Google and Youtube only.

Many people in the world especially businessmen and celebrities use multiple accounts, which can potentially be a source of false positives. Also, there are many fake accounts, so maybe the number of unique users who visit Facebook at least once a month (criteria for active users) is still less than 2 billion, but that can’t be confirmed.

Facebook is a big platform, which can be used with both good and bad intentions. There are organisations which are using Facebook for noble purposes, then there are hate groups and terrorists who use it for spreading hatred and violence. There are people on Facebook who are fighting for human rights, and at the same time, some people are using it for defaming others. Revolutions fighting shady regimes (Ex. Arab Spring) started using this platform, then some people meddled into elections (Ex. Russian meddling in US presidential elections) using this.

Facebook came a long way, reaching milestones after milestones, but they still have many things to do. One of the pressing issues is if of fake news, and Facebook has vowed to take steps to tackle them. Then comes the issue of terrorist contents, and in that case also Facebook has taken some serious steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence. But in the case of hate speeches, they have considerably failed to take notice, especially if they are targeted towards minorities. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg intervened himself to prevent posts from Donald Trump from being removed, even though they qualified as hate speech.

ProPublica published a comprehensive report on how Facebook is censoring posts. For ex., female drivers and black children are not protected, but white men are, on Facebook. If influential companies like Facebook, start having biases or work only for the sake of profit, while ignoring how it would affect others, then it will affect the society in a bad way.

Facebook has in many ways become an integral part of life for millions, and the content its users see there affects the way they think. So, let us hope that people will continue to have it, but without fake news, terrorist contents and hate speeches, and that Facebook will take action, irrespective of who posted such content.

Aftab Alam

Editor at Verit Nation.

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