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Facebook to limit political ads week before election

Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi, Alexis Christoforous, and Dan Howley discuss the precautionary measures Facebook is taking ahead of the November election, and Apple’s new advertisement that targets Google.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, let's move on to other big news today. Facebook taking extra precautionary measures ahead of the November election. So in the week leading up to the election, Facebook says it will block all new political ads to avoid any premature victory claims by the candidates. "Yahoo Finance's" tech editor, Dan Howley, is here with the details. So Dan, tell us more about this and is it going to make Facebook look any better in the eyes of the public?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, Alexis, this is basically part of Facebook's kind of campaign of ensuring that the election results don't come into question because of something found on the site itself. They don't want any social media spread conspiracies or anything along those lines. And so what they're doing is prohibiting those ads the week leading into the election, and then anything that calls the election prematurely or inaccurately will be labeled as such or removed. Basically they're trying to prevent any kind of civil unrest that could result as-- as a result of these Facebook posts.

And basically Mark Zuckerberg pointed that out specifically in mentioning this. He did say though that he believes that Americans-- America's democracy is more than capable of handling this, but it's better safe than sorry to head off any kind of issues before they creep up. And don't forget, Facebook is also dealing with-- and Twitter, the foreign interference campaigns that are ongoing through Russia, as well as China. So they're dealing with battles on multiple fronts, and I think this is probably their best way of heading off anything that could result from American born issues for the election.

BRIAN SOZZI: And Dan, you have some details for us on a new Apple ad that really tries, I think, to stick it to Google.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, essentially what's happening here is Apple has released a privacy focused ad that's going after Google, and Amazon, and Facebook to a degree, basically highlighting how much Apple puts into the privacy and security features of its products. And it's a pretty fun ad where there's a guy standing on a bus, and says, I've looked up a divorce lawyer eight times today. A guy running with his Apple watch constantly announcing his heart rate. A woman in a restaurant who says she recently purchased paternity tests, and her partner kind of just dropping his jaw.

So it's a really good ad that kind of points to, you know, Apple's constant kind of build on its privacy and security, and that's something that they're able to market because unlike something, like a Google or an Amazon, they don't make money off of user information. Now that's not to say that Google-- Apple rather, is unaffected by security issues. There was, obviously, the famous hack of Jeff Bezos' iPhone. That was perpetrated through an exploit using WhatsApp. And then there was recently an exploit found in Apple's own mail app.

Both of those issues have been addressed, but it's not as though the iPhone is completely secure from any kind of issues. Hackers are out there and always probing for anything, but Apple has also gone toe to toe with the DOJ basically saying, you know, we're not going to unlock phones regardless of what you need or ask of us. We'll give you the information that's available to us, but if we create back doors in our phones that allow you to access information for suspects, that automatically opens up every other iPhone in the world to potentially being hacked by malicious hackers because they will inevitably get access to that backdoor code. So really what's going on here is, I think, Apple just kind of highlighting its capabilities as a security and privacy expert.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, Dan Howley, thanks so much.