Almost as many people use Facebook as live in the entire country of China

If Facebook were a country, its population would rival the single most populous country on Earth, the Daily Mail reports.

That’s one eye-popping takeaway from Facebook’s Q3 earnings report Tuesday, in which the site announced that its monthly active users cleared 1.35 billion — roughly equal the population of China, and 9 percent larger than that of India.

By these numbers, nearly 20 percent of the world’s population logs into Facebook once a month. And if we just look at the world’s Internet users, roughly half of them — every other person with Internet on the planet — use the site actively.

But stacking Facebook against real-world states isn’t just a handy numerical comparison — it also underscores exactly how much power “Facebookistan” has over the online lives and identities of its users. A power that, some legal scholars and media critics have argued, is quite analogous to the ones real-life governments exercise over their citizens.

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