San Francisco — Facebook’s scandals are finally hitting the company where it hurts: growth. The social media company has contended for years with criticism about its content policies, its failure to safeguard private data and its changing rules for advertisers. Those problems hadn’t mattered to the success of the business — until now. Facebook on Wednesday reported second-quarter sales and user growth that fell short of analysts’ projections. And the company told Wall Street the numbers won’t get any better this year. Shares plunged as much as 24% in after-hours trade after chief financial officer David Wehner said revenue growth rates would decline in the third and fourth quarters. Analysts who follow Facebook were blindsided, asking frequently on a conference call with executives for more information on exactly how the company’s financial future had changed so dramatically. "I think many investors are having a hard time reconciling that deceleration," Jefferies analyst Brent Thill...

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