How likely is it that Facebook will go bankrupt

System relevance of the tech giantsWhat a broke of Facebook mean would

Facebook, Google and Co. are very powerful. That's not new. But what happens when a bankruptcy threatens? A study by Oxford University provides the answers. The world is not prepared for an end, so the result. An end would even have far-reaching consequences. Our network reporter Martina Schulte took a look at the analysis.

Behind the study are ethics researcher Carl Öhman and lawyer Nikita Aggarwal from Oxford University. The two investigated what would happen if Facebook got into financial trouble and had to shut down.

The scenario of a bankruptcy is rather unlikely, the scientists also know that. According to the study, it is also clear that the world would not be prepared for the consequences of an end, according to our network reporter Martina Schulte.

What would the end of Facebook mean?

In their study, which appeared in the journal Internet Policy Review, they write, for example, that shutting down a global communication platform like Facebook "could have catastrophic social and economic consequences for countless communities that rely on the platform on a daily basis."

According to Martina Schulte, many users maintain contact with their friends and families, especially via Facebook. In addition, the user data could be sold to the highest bidder as a kind of bankruptcy estate after bankruptcy. But also small companies that address their customers primarily via Facebook would suffer from the end of the platform.

"An off would have the side effect, for example, that our user data would be sold to the highest bidder as bankruptcy assets."
Martina Schulte, Deutschlandfunk Nova network reporter

Of course, Facebook is not the only way to build and maintain networks. But in the study, the author and the author refer to the importance of Facebook. They compare the platform with the "systemically important financial institutions" that are so important that they were saved from the 2008 banking crisis. Facebook is "too big to fail". The damage caused by bankruptcy would be too great for society.

Facebook is "too big to fail"

The bankruptcy of Facebook would above all be a problem for developing and emerging countries. "In countries such as Laos or Myanmar, Facebook is synonymous with the Internet itself," says Martina Schulte. The users dial into the network via free Facebook apps.

The study also deals with the possible historical loss due to the end of Facebook. All the photos on the platform allow a look back at fashion, culture or urban development. In the Guardian, study author Nikita Aggarwal is considering declaring the Facebook archive a "site of digital world heritage".

However, it remains to be seen whether an end is even possible, says Martina Schulte. The study is based on a mind game.

"I don't think that Facebook's demise is very likely in the very near future."
Martina Schulte, Deutschlandfunk Nova network reporter

On the other hand, a lot seems to be possible since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. Also a global economic crisis that could cause enormous difficulties for large companies - including the tech giants. "The big tech companies are not protected from extinction per se just because they seem so indispensable to us today," says Martina Schulte. At the moment, however, it seems unlikely that there will be an end in the near future.