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Sheryl Sandberg. Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Texas Conference for Women)

A handful of advertisers have paused their campaigns on Facebook, COO Sheryl Sandberg told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Sandberg is confirming that chaos around user privacy is having an impact on Facebook's roughly $40 billion business, which is driven mostly by advertising. The impact, however, is probably very small. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Wednesday that the controversies have had no meaningful impact on the company's bottom line.

What she said: “We’ve seen a few advertisers pause with us and they’re asking the same questions that other people are asking,” said Sandberg. “They want to make sure they can use data and use it safely.”

  • According to Bloomberg, Sandberg said she's having “reassuring conversations with advertisers” about user privacy on its platform.

The big picture: Controversies around terrorism, pedophilia, violence, hate speech, suicide and election meddling over the past year have led many advertisers to reconsider whether it's "brand safe" to buy advertising on open platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

  • While some big name marketers, like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have vowed to pull ad budgets from such companies, most of those tech giants have faired just fine in earnings and have continued to make more and more ad dollars.

The announcement comes the same day Facebook was granted accreditation by the industry's de-facto watchdog, the Media Rating Council, for some of its ad metrics.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
10 mins ago - Technology

Tech's race problem is all about power

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As problematic as the tech industry's diversity statistics are, activists say the focus on those numbers overlooks a more fundamental problem — one less about numbers than about power.

What they're saying: In tech, they argue, decision-making power remains largely concentrated in the hands of white men. The result is an industry whose products and working conditions belie the industry rhetoric about changing the world for the better.

Mayors fear long-lasting effects of COVID-19

Data: Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. mayors tend to be an optimistic bunch, but a poll released Thursday finds them unusually pessimistic about prospects for post-pandemic recovery.

Why it matters: In a survey of mayors of 130 U.S. cities with more than 75,000 residents, 80% expect racial health disparities to widen, and an alarming number predict that schools, transit systems and small businesses will continue to suffer through 2021 and beyond.

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.