Facebook-Friends $$$ & Twitter-Soapbox $$, Fake News, Hate Speech, Political Favoritism & Employees

The Economist June 6th 2020 pp54-55 Twitter and Facebook “A tale of two social networks”. “Different business models make for different politics”.

Mark Zuckerberg (CEO-Facebook) and Jack Dorsey (CEO-Twitter). Graphic nbcnews.com

Factual Information

Market Capitalization

FB $656B

Twitter $27.4B


FB $70.7B

Twitter $3.5B

Net Profit

FB $18.5B (26%)

Twitter $1.5B (43%)


FB 48,300

Twitter 4,900

Daily Active Users

FB 1.7B

Twitter 0.2B

Notes: FB differs from Twitter in being more friend-based and considered as one-to-one or one-to-a-few network for back-and-forth dialog “replicating social relationships of the sort between friends, family or colleagues” whereas Twitter is viewed as primarily “a modern-day ‘Speakers Corner’ for back-and-forth dialog in a one to many network. Both earn money based on advertising. Among other reasons FB is more popular because “having friends is a human need”, maintaining a soapbox is non-essential even for the world’s extroverts”.

In the news recently, while both have “Terms of Agreement” with rules they regularly enforce for common users that violate policy only Twitter has restricted the current POTUS by flagging “two recent tweets”…”one for its falsity, the other for glorifying violence”. Twitter but not FB has banned political ads, FB being a magnitude larger and has grown by M&A (Instagram 2012 for $1B and WhatsApp $19B in 2014) is more concerned than Twitter about anti-trust and accusations of “political favoritism”. FB CEO “did not want to be the ‘arbiter of truth’. POTUS “shot back” [at Twitter] threatening…[by]…executive order to rein in Social Media. Experts see this maneuver by POTUS as illegal. Both FB and Twitter though are facing objections from employees for not taking action against misinformation, illegal content and hate speech. FB faced a virtual walk-out by some employees on June 1st. Should FB begin applying rules to all users, it probably won’t happen until after the upcoming American general elections in November.