Facebook (FB - Free Report) has removed several accounts and pages, which were found spreading misinformation and engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” ahead of the election in Bangladesh.
In a bid to maintain transparency and curb the proliferation of fake news on its platform, the tech giant has pulled down six accounts and nine fake news pages. This move was made soon after it received an alert for the pages, which resembled news outlets and posted anti-opposition content.
Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) too followed Facebook’s move and removed 15 accounts, which were found "engaging in coordinated platform manipulation." The company also stated that the account may have ties to state-sponsored actors. Notably, with the approaching election, social media companies are ramping up efforts to keep a check on malicious activities on their platform.
Coming to price performance, Facebook’s shares have lost 24.4% on a year-to-date basis compared with the industry’s decline of 25.6%.
Stance Ahead of Election in Other Countries
Facebook is boosting its security measures ahead of assembly election and 2019 general election in India. The company is working closely with the Election Commission of India to limit the dissemination of fake news and external interference on the platform.
The company recently announced that advertisers have to give accurate details about their identity and location before placing any political ads. Also, all ads related to election and other political issues will be labeled with the name of the payer in the disclaimer section from early next year. Moreover, to monitor the upcoming election, the company has also put together a team of specialists.
Facebook also strengthened its initiatives related to transparency and security on its platform ahead of 2018 U.S. mid-term elections. The company expanded policies to prevent voter suppression.
The company has extended the ban on posts describing incorrect voting methods and “statements about whether a vote will be counted” or not. Additionally, Facebook’s new reporting option will help users report any false voting information.
We believe the company’s recent efforts to fight against fake news will help it build trust and improve user engagement.
Facebook, Inc. Price and Consensus
Facebook Disseminates Information to Third Parties
Despite boosting security measures in different countries ahead of their elections, Facebook has been dealing with various scandals related to its user’s data privacy.
The company gave Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) and Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) access to its users’ private messages, which enabled users to communicate with one another using third-party services. Following the dissemination of this news, shares of the company plunged 7.2% in the last two trading sessions.
Per reports from Forbes, Facebook lost $35 billion in market value in March in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company had access to 50 million users’ data without their consent to target them for political messages. Moreover, the firm also worked closely with Donald Trump for 2016 U.S. election. This scandal impacted 87 million subscribers on Facebook’s platform.
Such issues of data privacy and data breach are expected to affect the company’s top line, user base and brand image in the near term.
Facebook currently carries 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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