Facebook honchos Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are warning that restricting the social networking firm's ad targeting will hurt small businesses.
During a call with analysts Thursday, the pair along with other senior execs argued the social network was a "lifeline" for many companies during the coronavirus pandemic, and that stricter regulation risks negative "macro-economic" effects, Business Insider reported.
The Silicon Valley-headquartered social media giant is facing antitrust concerns, advertiser worries about content moderation, and persistent demands for greater privacy protections, BI noted.
Facebook counters it’s become invaluable to small business.
"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,” Zuckerberg told analysts, BI reported.
“It's true that making it more difficult to target ads would affect the revenue of companies like Facebook,” he continued.
“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?”
“The right path, I believe, is regulation that keeps people's data safe while allowing the benefits of this kind of personalized and relevant advertising,” he declared.
COO Sandberg called the firm’s “free tools” and “personalized advertising... a lifeline for businesses.”
“Especially small businesses who can't afford broad campaigns aimed at mass audiences,” she told analysts, BI reported.
“For just a few dollars, now more than 9 million advertisers use our platforms to reach audiences interested in their products – and we enable this in a way that protects people's privacy and produces measurable results. In today's economy when businesses are struggling and customers aren't physically walking into their stores or restaurants, this is more important than ever.
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