Facebook (FB - Free Report) continues to take measures to curb spreading of hate, false content and misinformation on its platform. The social media giant recently announced that it will examine and remove false photos and videos. Earlier, its focus was only on articles.
Facebook, which has been severely criticized for Russian interference in 2016 U.S. Presidential election, is increasing its security measures to avoid a similar situation in the upcoming mid-term elections. The company is increasingly working with third-party partners to detect any form of misinformation with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Facebook will deploy a machine learning model to cross check information and detect any abnormalities on the platform, which is flooded with millions of photos and videos shared by its 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Facebook has 27 third-party fact-checking partners in 17 countries around the world. These partners have expertise in evaluating photos and videos as they are trained in visual verification techniques, such as reverse image searching and analysis of image metadata.
Facebook is also using optical character recognition (OCR) “to extract text from photos and compare that text to headlines from fact-checkers’ articles.”
Moreover, Facebook will allow users to flag content, which they think is inappropriate. Third-party partners will then decide if the content is accurate or not.
Can Facebook Succeed in Restricting Fake News?
Facebook is making significant investments to strengthen security on its platform. The company currently has 15K people working on security and content review and expects to expand it to more than 20k by this year end.
Facebook recently announced that it has removed 18 Facebook accounts, 52 Facebook pages and one Instagram account related to Myanmar military officials who were responsible for spreading false information related to the minority Muslim community.
Moreover, the social media giant was successful in removing 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.
Facebook’s efforts to plug security loopholes as well as limit fake news will eventually boost its trustworthiness. Although the company’s focus on building a strong “community” can hurt engagement over the next few quarters, the steps will expand its user base over the long run.
Facebook Continues to Face Flak from the Government
Even after all the efforts to curb fake news, Facebook along with Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google continue to be under pressure.
Recently, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg testified in front of members of Congress about the company’s role in the proliferation of fake news and the company’s efforts to stop the spread of misinformation on its platforms.
Additionally, the social media giant has received warning from the Indonesian government that if any allegations similar to the Cambridge Analytica data breach surface during the upcoming elections, the application will be stopped in the country.
Despite all the roadblocks this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company is facing, we believe that Facebook’s continuous efforts to increase transparency by limiting the spread of misinformation will eventually boost user confidence, thereby positively impacting its top line.
Stock to Consider
A better-ranked stock in the broader computer technology sector is Vishay Intertechnology (VSH - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth for Vishay is projected to be 9.2%.
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