Facebook’s profits have soared, despite the biggest scandal in its history

After all that!

Facebook's faced its biggest series of scandals in its short lifetime, what with the whole people's-data-being-stolen-and-used-to-influence-elections thing. But its quarterly figures have come out, and it looks like profits are actually up on the same period last year.

What it means: Facebook reported quarterly (the three months Jan-March) profits rose 63 per cent, to more than $5bn (£4.1bn). It also had 2.2 billion monthly average users, a 13 per cent increase.

There's one disclaimer here though: the Cambridge Analytica scandal (in which 87 billion users' data was compromised, and Mark Zuckerberg was hauled out in front of senators to explain himself) happened mid-way through March, so these results don't show the *full* effect of the fallout.

Still, people expected profits to at least be dampened – Facebook has put a couple of changes in place that you would reasonably expect to hurt its model (things like asking your permission before tracking your movements on the site, information which advertisers then use). They promised to hire thousands of new content reviewers, to make sure nothing's getting on there which shouldn't be (new hires means new salaries which means more $$$).

One expert cited in Wired said he didn't think these were gonna make any difference in the future either: "They’ve effectively done nothing [and] it doesn’t look like anyone cares."

The thing that was most likely to harm Facebook was the threats of major advertisers (who pay it big bucks) leaving because they didn't want to be associated with the 'damaged' brand. A Facebook executive said even though a "handful" had left, one had already returned.

The question here is how bad does a company have to behave before we stop using it? Is Facebook so embedded in the way we conduct our social lives, that we're immune to any scandals it may bear?

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