Quiz site PlayBuzz continued its surge in Facebook shares, vaulting to the top of NewsWhip’s ranking of publishers for November, and marking the first time since NewsWhip began compiling its rankings in August 2013 that neither The Huffington Post nor BuzzFeed occupied first place.
The chair of the U.K. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, had some harsh words for Facebook over its low tax bill and its method of legally avoiding taxation by channeling its revenues through Ireland, home of its European headquarters.
April was not kind to BuzzFeed, as the content aggregator saw its total number of Facebook interactions (likes, comments, and shares) slip to just over 39 million from nearly 47.5 million in March, and it accounted for just five of April’s 20 biggest Facebook stories after logging 12 in the previous month, but BuzzFeed still topped publishers in terms of shares for April, according to social media news aggregator NewsWhip.
Facebook emphatically denied allegations in a story in The Guardian asserting that the social network and other Internet companies “were fully aware” of the National Security Agency’s data collection as part of its Prism initiative.
BuzzFeed had a strong month in January in terms of engagement on Facebook among media sites, with more than 9.5 million shares and over 40 million combined interactions, according to the latest figures from NewsWhip.
The tax man cometh and, in the case of Facebook in the U.K., he leaveth empty-handed, as The Guardian reported that the social network paid no taxes in the U.K. in 2012, despite seeing its income there rise by 70 percent, and despite accounting for nearly one-half of the £6 billion ($9.66 billion) that eMarketer projects for 2013 digital ad spending in the U.K.
Despite continuous efforts by Facebook to curb spam, it still represents a lucrative opportunity, as Italian security researchers Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli told The Guardian spammers who post links to Facebook pages, which direct users to third-party scam sites, are earning about $200 million per year for their troubles.
Private messages on Facebook may not be as private as users think, and the audience for chats may also be a little larger, according to the latest report on the National Security Agency’s Prism initiative from The Guardian, in which whistleblower Edward Snowden detailed a software program called XKeyscore.
Early and former Facebook employee Katherine Losse reiterated her claim that employees of the social network had access to a master password in offering her take on the National Security Agency’s Prism initiative to The Guardian.