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Meta remains quiet on its misinformation policies ahead of midterm elections

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Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins the Live show to detail Meta's misinformation policies ahead of this year's midterm elections and the platform's Twitch partnership to broadcast influencer live streams.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Facebook parent company META is under scrutiny once again, this time for its silence around misinformation as we near the midterm elections. Yahoo Finance tech reporter Dan Howley here to talk more about this. Dan, good to see you. What are we learning?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is from the AP basically saying that while we had in prior years seen Facebook kind of put out an all out effort to show how much it's actually trying to crack down on efforts for different countries or different political groups to spread misinformation around elections, this year, we're not hearing very much from the company at all around the efforts that it's using to stop that.

Now, obviously, part of the concern here is that in the leadup to the attack on the Capitol, there was a lot of talk on groups on Facebook about organizing there. There were, obviously, discussions on other social media platforms as well. But there's also, obviously, the precedent that was set in the past where in 2016, countries like Russia, as well as groups in the US, seeking to push Donald Trump to become president had done so on Facebook.

And then we had seen Facebook originally say at that point there wasn't any significant movement as far as that goes. And then later, they retracted that and admitted that yes, there was a lot of traction as far as that kind of content misinformation went. So now we have Meta, but apparently, they're either using those efforts, but not publicizing them. Or they are actually cutting back.

And some of the conversation has to do around an app called CrowdTangle, which allows researchers and journalists to look at what's performing particularly well on Facebook with users. But that app itself has started to kind of decay and been going offline in certain days. Facebook runs that app itself.

SEANA SMITH: Dan, while we have you, there's another story involving Meta. Business Insider reporting that Meta has been secretly inviting some influencers here. What can you tell us about that and what this means here for their progress or their moves, their focus going forward?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is kind of a Twitch competitor, it sounds like. They're working on this kind of live stream ability where users will be able to chat with their own followers on Facebook. And it's called Super. It could potentially be another breakout product for a Meta, in general. So it would line up with Facebook, with WhatsApp, Instagram, and then Super would be there. They may change the name, obviously, as time goes on. But hey, Twitch is a weird name in itself, too.

But this is similar to Twitch in they're inviting some influencers, according to these reports. There's fewer than 100 who have been spoken to. There aren't very many people using the platform because it's invite-only. So this is very much still in a testing phase. But it could prove to be a new area for Meta to expand, especially as we see the number of Facebook users for the Facebook app itself just plateau and stay largely flat, and interest in Instagram kind of starting to wane among younger users, who really are kind of drifting towards the likes of, if not Snap, then TikTok for sure.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Dan Howley, thanks so much.