22:18 GMT12 April 2021
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    This year, Facebook ignited a firestorm after media reported that a political consultancy firm harvested personal information of millions of users, including in Europe, in a bid to sway voter opinion.

    Facebook has seen a decline in the number of daily active users (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU) in Europe in July-September 2018, according to the social networking site's recent quarterly report on financial results.

    Facebook had 278 million DAU in Europe in Q3, down from 279 million last quarter, whereas the MAY count went down by one million from 376 to 375m. This continued a trend seen in the previous quarter when the MAU base also declined by one million.

    READ MORE: UK Watchdog Fines Facebook $645,000 for Data Protection Breach — ICO

    Despite the drop in European users, Facebook's worldwide DAU base saw a slow rise and grew to 1.5 billion (up from 1.47 billion in Q2).

    The company has also brought its total staff count to over 33,000 people as of September 30, a 45 percent hike from the past year. The additional moderators and other staff were employed in response to public criticism over Facebook's content policies and are dealing with what they call disruptive and malicious content, including censoring pages which are "working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing."

    Earlier this month, Facebook reported about a data hack of at least 30 million users, exploiting a vulnerability in its code that existed between July 2017 and September 2018.

    In March, the social media giant found itself at the center of a massive data breach scandal, when personal data of up to 87 million users, mostly in the United States, was shared without their permission with the political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook admitted that up to 2.7 million users had their personal information leaked.

    While reportedly working for multiple political campaigns, Cambridge Analytica gathered data from these millions of social media accounts to develop a mechanism that would predict voters' behavior and sway their opinion.


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