Results soothe nerves over scandal-hit Facebook

Facebook reports profit surge, user growth despite scandals

Canadian data firm Aggregate IQ spent $2m (£1.4m) on pro-brexit political adverts for Vote Leave and other groups on Facebook during the European Union referendum, an executive from the social media giant has told MPs.

As many as a million British Facebook users may have had their data harvested because they were connected to U.S. users targeted in data passed to Cambridge Analytica, Schroepfer said.

In a financial filing on Thursday, Facebook warned that it has been buffeted by "intense media coverage" that could damage user numbers and revenues in Q2.

But the 33-year-old internet mogul managed to deflect calls for any specific promises to support possible congressional regulation of the world's largest social media network and other US internet companies. Facebook said that the rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, could lead to a decline in use in Europe.

It emerged in March that political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 87m Facebook users, including 45,000 from Ireland, to persuade American voters to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"I don't know specifically", said Schroepfer.

'Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018, ' Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

Schroepfer came across as genuine - or at the very least, believable; certainly his assertions about the company's mission were slightly less saccharine, and a lot less robotic, than his boss's efforts in front of US Congress.

Facebook said 1,040 people in the United Kingdom had installed Kogan's app, which allowed it access to around 1 million friends' personal information.

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"As Mark Zuckerberg said, he wants to make sure the most senior members of his team answer the Parliament's questions and explain the steps we have taken to protect our users' data further".

For the first quarter of 2018, the capital expenditures were $2.81 billion while cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $43.96 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

"It is appropriate that Zuckerberg would take the time to come to the European Parliament, given that Facebook has more users in Europe with over 364m monthly active users here, compared to the United States or Canada which account for a combined total of 239m", the Ireland South MEP said.

"I'd be surprised if it was one-off", he says of the Cambridge Analytica situation.

Schroepfer said he "respectfully disagreed" with such characterizations.

A top Facebook exec today faces a grilling from the British government over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the impact of "fake news" on the democratic process.

Asked about whether recent events had caused any changes in advertisers' views about the platform or raised concerns about future ROI, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said: "In the immediate days of the concern we heard from a handful of advertisers who paused spend, one of whom has already come back".

Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, said in an investor note Wednesday that the user figures were "a relief given fears of missing this number were running rampant". He also claimed that while the Leave EU campaign had spent "millions of pounds" on Facebook ads in the run up to the EU referendum, Facebook had not yet found any evidence that Cambridge Analytica data had been employed for ad targeting.

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