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Facebook (FB) to Not Remove "Newsworthy" Political Content

Zacks Equity Research

Facebook FB recently stated that it will not fact check political statements or remove politicians’ posts, which it believes are "newsworthy", even if the content violates its “community standards.”

The company attempts to make political speech and content subject to public debate and scrutiny. Notably, Facebook’s announcement is similar to Twitter’s TWTR policy, which treats high-profile political tweets from verified accounts with more than 100,000 followers as newsworthy.

However, Facebook will remove content, including a political speech, which can cause harm and endanger humans, as well as violate its policies.  

Additionally, the social network will continue to demote political content and previously fact-checked links, photos, and videos shared by politicians from third-party sources.

The above announcement is part of Facebook’s plans to prevent outside interference in the 2020 presidential election in the United States.

Initiatives to Secure the Platform

Notably, Facebook has inked partnerships with independent fact-checking organizations and released advertisements in newspapers, addressing issues of fake news circulation on the platform.

Moreover, the company has recruited 30,000 people and also made huge investments in AI systems to eliminate harmful content.
 

Facebook, Inc. Price and Consensus

Facebook, Inc. Price and Consensus

Facebook, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Facebook, Inc. Quote

 

Facebook has been facing heat from the United States Senate over content management. The company has been accused of censoring content and suppressing conservative speech.

The company is taking steps to address issues of user privacy and better data-handling techniques ahead of the upcoming elections due to the ongoing state, federal, and congressional antitrust investigations in the United States.

Per a Stanford report released last year, Facebook’s user interactions with content from sites producing false stories has declined 65% since 2016.

Facebook Enhances Ad Transparency Ahead of Singapore Elections

Facebook is attempting to balance freedom of expression with regulation of false content. The company has taken steps to increase transparency, especially in case of political advertising.

The company is also putting in efforts to improve transparency and security on its platform ahead of Singapore city-state election in a few months.

Per a Reuters article, Facebook is developing stricter policies for political ads placed on the platform.

The company now requires advertisers in Singapore to disclose responsibility and present necessary documents, before placing political and issue-based ads. This will allow Facebook to confirm advertisers’ identity and location.

Additionally, all political ads placed on Facebook should include a “Paid for by” label on top of the ad. The label will contain sponsor information for the ad, which will be available on an online library for seven years.

Facebook’s bid to increase supervision of political ads has led to introduction of similar initiatives in various countries, including the United States and India.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Computer & Technology sector are Perficient PRFT and Chegg CHGG, each 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 rate for Perficient and Chegg is currently pegged at 10.75% and 30%, respectively.

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