Facebook is expected to suffer a drastic drop in profits for the first time in four years amid accusations of spreading fake news and violations of privacy, with analysts quoted by CCN predicting the social media giant's net profits to dip by roughly $300m to $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in the first quarter 2019 following the announcement of its preliminary results later this week.
The likely scenario is expected despite Facebook, which also controls Instagram and WhatsApp, reporting a $3bn turnover boost from the same financial period in 2018, according to analysts cited in the report, with the firm's annual report expected to showcase figures short of last year's $28.7bn.
The news comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces growing pressure over how the social media platform delivers political messages and targets voters to promote political agendas around the world.
The massive scandal involved the London-based consultancy firm, which data mined the personal details of millions of users without their consent, with Facebook admitting it had been aware of the privacy breach since 2015.#
Further scandals ensued, including the most recent privacy gaffe where the embattled tech giant confirmed it had collected the emails of 1.5m new users after "unintentionally uploading" contacts to the platform. Facebook has since reported that it is deleting the affected contacts and notifying users, adding that it did not access the contents of user emails, despite backlash from Facebook users.
The firm also came under sharp criticism after New Zealand's privacy commissioner branded Facebook as "morally bankrupt pathological liars" citation after shooter Brenton Tarrant posted a live stream of the mosque attacks in Christchurch on Facebook, with the violent material remaining on Facebook for roughly an hour.
News also emerge that Facebook's security expenses for Mr Zuckerberg and his family doubled to $22.6m in 2018, with $2.6m spent on private jets as Facebook's stock fell nearly 2 percent following a partial outage of the platform that made the network temporarily unavailable to users around the world.