Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has warned that any attempts to regulate Facebook could hurt the businesses that rely on its targeted advertising services.
During a call with investors following Facebook’s Q2 results – in which the company recorded 11 per cent growth – Zuckerberg voiced his concern regarding the potential regulation of Facebook and other online advertising companies.
“That’s why I am often troubled by the calls to go after internet advertising, especially during a time of such economic turmoil like we face today with Covid,” he said, according to Business Insider.
“It’s true that making it more difficult to target ads would affect the revenue of companies like Facebook. But the much bigger cost of such a move would be to reduce the effectiveness of the ads and opportunities for small businesses to grow.
“This would reduce opportunities for small businesses so much that it would probably be felt at a macro-economic level. Is that really what policymakers want in the middle of a pandemic and recession? ”
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg went on to describe Facebook as a “lifeline for businesses” during COVID-19.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s defence of Facebook and its advertising services followed last week’s tech antitrust hearing, which saw Zuckerberg join the likes of Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook in testifying before congress.
Company CFO Dave Wehner took aim at the upcoming iOS 14 update from Apple, which will ask users if they want to let app developers track their activity across apps and websites.
“We’re still trying to understand what these changes will look like and how they will impact us and the rest of the industry, but at the very least, it’s going to make it harder for app developers and others to grow using ads on Facebook and elsewhere,” he said.
“Our view is that Facebook and targeted ads are a lifeline for small businesses, especially in a time of COVID.
“And we are concerned that aggressive platform policies will cut at that lifeline at a time when it is so essential for small business growth and recovery.”