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Facebooks Halts Common Ground Over Fears of Political Bias

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Reportedly, Facebook (FB - Free Report) halted Common Ground, a feature that is feared to be biased against conservatives, per a Wall Street Journal report.

Facebook's global head of policy, Joel Kaplan suspended the project over concerns that the feature would “disproportionately quiet conservative voices on the platform.” Kaplan has a key role in determining the type of information being presented to Facebook users.

Notably, Common Ground was introduced to encourage users to have more civil discussions in spite of having different political views. Additionally, the feature de-emphasized hateful comments and included changes to how the News Feed was ranked.

Facebook, which has, for long, faced backlash for its liberal stance is making efforts to bring in neutral content to its users and eliminate any external interference that may affect political outcomes.

Reportedly, President Trump has accused Facebook along with Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google of suppressing right-wing opinions. Moreover, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey openly admitted that most of his employees are left-wing biased.

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Other Measures to Boost Platform Health

After being heavily criticized for its involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which affected 87 million users in March 2018, Facebook has taken several measures to curb misuse of its platform.

The social media giant has removed several accounts and pages that spread misinformation and engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” ahead of Bangladesh election.

Facebook also put together a team of specialists to monitor the upcoming Lok Sabha election in India. Moreover, the company is working closely with the Election Commission of India to limit the dissemination of fake news and external interference on the platform.

Prior to this, Facebook had undertaken similar security measures ahead of election in Brazil, the United States and UK.

Additionally, Facebook is improving transparency and security for its ads and pages. It recently announced a pilot program to help secure U.S. candidates and campaign staff from “hackers and foreign adversaries.”

Further, the social media giant announced that the company will restrain from physically sending its employees to promote the use of the platform for political campaigns.

Security Lapses Continue

However, Facebook’s efforts to fully secure its platforms have not quite delivered yet. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company was recently embroiled in another security breach, where a software bug gave outside developers’ access to photos of 6.8 million users.

Additionally, Facebook came under pressure for not closing the respective application program interface (APIs) when it offered instant personalization feature to select partners like Yelp (YELP - Free Report) and Rotten Tomatoes. This may have exposed user data to third-party developers.

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