Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB): Social networks become lucrative terrorist-breeding grounds

Terrorists have found an easy, cheap and efficient way of recruiting young and impressionable minds into their organizations. Sites for social networking, which include Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB), YouTube, Twitter and other such forums, have turned out to be the grounds to spread terrorist propaganda. The UN filed a report on Monday which outlined the ways in which these social networking sites were used by terrorist groups to plan and plot attacks, to evaluate and recruit people who are like-minded, and to spread their message across a wide network of people. These sites have turned out to be cheap, and at the same time, they have a very wide reach.

The report, which was filed by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, pointed out the benefits which terrorist groups gained, by using these sites, which are on the internet, and therefore, have a wider reach than other modes of mass communication. Through the use of fake profiles, and through the availability of the wide amount of information which people put out about themselves, these groups are able to recruit people for criminal and violent activity, and the out-reach provided by these forums also allow them to carry on terrorist activities without actually being there. The report was spread over 148 pages, detailing the benefits the terrorist groups gain through the social networking sites.

This report by the UN has been released a few hours before Facebook reveals its third quarter earnings for this year. After the results, the investors have to be answered to, regarding the ways in which the site plans on increasing its revenue, with the advent of the number of mobile users. From the billion odd users which the site has, 600 million use the site through their phones. This has lead to advertisements getting ignored, and since the majority of Facebook’s revenue is derived from advertisers, this has proved to be a major issue for the site. One waits to see the effect of the “sponsored stories” which, the site has said, is the way to mobile advertising. Meanwhile, the prices of the shares have been reduced to half the amount which it was first valued at, during the Initial Public Offering. 

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