Facebook (FB - Free Report) is focusing om improving transparency of its platform. The company recently collaborated with Atlantic Council to counter the election related data breach fiasco that had been an area of concern for the company for some time now.
Notably, representatives from Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab will work with the Facebook team for better monitoring of dis-informative campaigns on the platform around the globe. The Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions of Atlantic Council will enable the company to keep a close look at the campaigns during elections or other sensitive events.
Per Facebook, “This will allow us to focus on a particular geographic area — monitoring for misinformation and foreign interference and also working to help educate citizens as well as civil society.”
With real-time insights into the probable threats, Facebook is anticipated to better manage the negative influences.
What Led to This Initiative?
The Cambridge Analytica data scandal affected around 87 million Facebook users and allegedly influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The social media giant faced severe criticism and backlash post revelation of the data scandal, which also massively impacted its share price momentum.
While Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) CEO Tim Cook criticized the platform, its co-founder Steve Wozniak declared his intention of deactivating his Facebook account. Notably, a #deletefacebook campaign was initiated by WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton, via a tweet, requesting his followers to delete Facebook.
Tesla’s (TSLA - Free Report) billionaire co-founder, Elon Musk’s decision to delete Facebook pages of both Tesla and Space was also a major negative.
The Indonesian government also warned Facebook that the application would be stopped in the country if any allegation related to influencing the upcoming election results surface.
Additionally, the European Union (EU) has also been planning to intensify the investigation process related to “harvesting of personal information.” Furthermore, with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) soon to be introduced in the EU, the data privacy laws are expected to become more stringent.
Amid all this, Facebook’s CEO has been trying to come up with strategies to improve its defamed image. Apart from just being apologetic, the company is actually trying to keep up to its promises of maintaining data privacy.
Facebook recently removed more than 270 accounts and pages operated by the Russian organization, Internet Research Agency (IRA), which were aimed at influencing the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The company along with Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) also backed the Honest Ads Act, which shows the company’s intent to increase transparency in political advertisement so as to prevent any influence on worldwide elections.
With an aim to add clarity to political advertisement, the company has announced that only authorized advertisers will be able to post political ads going forward, which will be labeled as “Political Ad” bearing “paid for by” information.
Furthermore, Facebook suspended two more data analytics companies, CubeYou and AggregateIQ, over unauthorized handling of user data.
Notably, the company is also investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and recruiting more people for handling data security and content as evident from its partnership with Atlantic Council. The company’s AI related initiatives are helping it to block fake accounts that per Facebook are “the source of many bad ads and a lot of misinformation.”
We believe Facebook's efforts will plug security loopholes as well as limit fake news, thus boosting its trustworthiness and re-establish the company’s strong foothold in the social media market.
Facebook currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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