"It's almost like a script for a bad movie.
Just as Facebook and Twitter face slowing user growth after attracting nearly half the world's population to their respective services, coordinated campaigns of harassment and abuse have begun to show their effects. User counts are dropping and stock prices are in freefall.
This week, social media is having a moment of reckoning.
It began Wednesday with Facebook, which announced that daily active user counts had fallen in Europe, to 279 million from 282 million earlier this year. Facebook also indicated it was no longer growing in the US and Canada, two of the most lucrative advertising markets. Just as Facebook was working through its second year of nearly nonstop scandals over unchecked political meddling and data misuse, it was becoming clear that the days of consistent and relatively easy growth were fading.
Then, on Friday, Twitter said it too was seeing user counts drop, to 335 million people who log in each month from 336 million just three months earlier, in part because of its efforts to, as it says, improve "the long-term health of the platform."