Facebook is having a bad week

The social network is in hot water over its transparency report and -- separately -- its big M&A deal for Giphy.


August 25, 2021

The Zuck launched a VR office last week to much ridicule and many jokes.

While people got their laughs in, 2 other Facebook news stories are much less funny.

First: Botching a transparency report

Last year, New York Times reporter Kevin Roose frequently posted stats on Facebook’s top-performing pages, which were often “right-leaning pundits,” per The Verge. The social network didn’t like that framing and promised to release its own transparency reports.

On Aug. 18, Facebook followed through, releasing a report for the most popular content in Q2 2021. Leaked documents then showed that FB conveniently withheld the same report for Q1.

Why? Because that period’s top post involved vaccine misinformation. A FB spokesperson said they withheld it because “there were key fixes to the system we wanted to make.” (Many read that as “cover-up.”)

Second: a shady M&A move

In May 2020, Facebook acquired Giphy, the leading GIF platform. Many were concerned that the move was anti-competitive.

To avoid automatic regulatory scrutiny — which occurs at a minimum deal threshold — Giphy allegedly paid investors a dividend ahead of the deal to draw down its assets, per Bloomberg.

While no actual laws were broken, this news comes just as the FTC refiled its antitrust case against the social giant. No wonder Zuck wants to escape to VR land.

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