In 2017, Facebook is, at best, a mixed blessing. For every nostalgic photo gallery and like-based dopamine rush it provides, there’s a bundle of fake news stories and accompanying hateful comments carving away at the world’s sanity. None of it would be so significant if not for the enormity of this user base. As we’ve seen over and over (including today), Facebook itself—never mind the users—isn’t a purely benevolent force. But it’s arguably the most powerful and influential on earth, so it’s important to get some statistical perspective on just how pervasive this thing really is.
Approximate percentage of the world on Facebook: 30
Approximate percentage of the world that has internet access on Facebook: 63
Years ago the entire planet is estimated to have crossed the 2 billion “user” mark: 87
Percentage of Americans who are Facebook users: 68
Percentage of eligible Americans who voted in the 2016 election: 59.7
Fraction of top 200 Facebook news stories that were fake in the two months leading up to the 2016 election: 1/3
Number of fake news accounts Facebook targeted during the French election: 30,000
Total number of people who served in both World Wars combined: 740 million
Number of deaths attributed to the Black Death, Spanish Flu pandemic and AIDS, combined: 160-335 million.
Amount of Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth that could be allocated to each Facebook user: $32.50