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The unwanted media attention Facebook received for its part in the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal has spilled into the platform's dissemination of fake news, and Zuckerberg felt compelled to apologize for his company's lack of professionalism and failure to maintain consumer confidence.

The report, which marked Facebook's first full quarter since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, startled investors with a bevy of red flags about setbacks to its revenue and user growth.

His fortune tumbled by US$16.8 billion in late trading Wednesday, as shares of the social media giant slid 20 per cent at 5:37 p.m.in NY on disappointing results.

The company posted $13.23 billion in revenue for the second quarter, missing estimates of $13.36 billion.

Daily user growth for Facebook's namesake service has slid in six straight quarters, bringing it to 1.47 billion users in the second quarter from 1.23 billion at the end of 2016 when it became embroiled in political issues.

It's certainly been a tough year news-wise for Facebook, which got pulverized by the stock market this week in the wake of disappointing second quarter earnings. Facebook's falling stock price has erased more than $110 billion in market value, which would be the largest one-day loss of any publicly traded company. The stock was up more than 23 per cent for the year, before it reported earnings after Wednesday's close.

Facebook suffered a blow in China on Wednesday when regulators there withdrew their approval of a company innovation hub to support local startups, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

"Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he has no intention of letting Facebook become a platform known for celebrating humanity's worst impulses". "Looking beyond 2018, we anticipate that total expense growth will exceed revenue growth in 2019".

Facebook's shares later rebounded, but at the time of this writing they remained deep in the red, down by a little more than 20%.

Also alarming to investors: Facebook's growth is slowing with users in some of its most lucrative markets. But the dollar's decline this year will reduce the dollar value of Facebook's foreign revenue. Turns out, the future matters more than the present when it comes to investor attitudes these days, and Google beat the crap out of analyst expectations excluding the fine, pointing to a stronger than expected outlook.

More lucrative than sales of goods that Amazon owns, third-party transactions offer the company a commission that increases significantly when merchants choose to hand over fulfilment and advertising to Amazon, as many do.

Until now, he said, there was a sense that the vast majority of users didn't fully understand Facebook's business.