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Despite Data Scandals And Privacy Issues Facebook Stock At All-Time High

The Times reported that Facebook has won exclusive rights to show all 380 live matches in parts of Asia

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Facebook plans sprawling office near Microsoft headquarters. IANS
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Despite the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal and a couple of users’ privacy issues owing to internal bugs, Facebook stock closed at an all-time record high of $203.23 on Friday.

Investors are loving the social network more than ever that saw its stocks dipping earlier in 2018 when it was under an intense probe over data breach from the US and European governments, Fortune reported.

Investors are also happy at the news that Facebook has grabbed its biggest sports streaming deal yet with the Premier League, reports IANS.  The Times reported that Facebook has won exclusive rights to show all 380 live matches in parts of Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos — from 2019 until 2022, in a deal worth about $264 million.

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Investors are also happy at the news that Facebook has grabbed its biggest sports streaming deal yet with the Premier League. Pixabay

Since going public in 2012, Facebook has seen its stock rise more than 400 per cent.  In the latest privacy goof-up, Facebook admitted that over 800,000 users were affected by a bug on its platform and Messenger that unblocked some people the users had blocked.   The bug was active between May 29 and June 5 — and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience, said Facebook.

Also readFacebook Shuts Down Three of its Apps

Facebook has already been grappling with privacy issues like the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users and another bug that changed 14 million users’ privacy setting defaults to public. (IANS)

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Facebook Dismisses Report of Journalists’ Frustration With Fact-Checking

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has dismissed a media report that claimed journalists working as factcheckers for the social media giant are frustrated and are ending partnerships as the company failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.

A report in The Guardian on Thursday said outside reporters have lost trust in Facebook, “which has repeatedly refused to release meaningful data about the impacts of their work”.

Reacting to the report, Meredith Carden, Head of News Integrity Partnerships at Facebook, said the Guardian story presents several inaccuracies.

“Contrary to a claim in the story, we absolutely do not ask fact-checkers to prioritise debunking content about our advertisers,” Carden said in statement.

The report, she added, is based primarily on the account of a single fact-checker who has not been involved with the Facebook fact-checking program for six months.

“We have been committed to fighting misinformation for years now and have strong relationships with our third-party fact-checking partners — we now have 35 partners in 24 countries around the world,” said Facebook.

The report quoted Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years, as saying that the social network is using journalists for handling crisis PR.

“They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care,” said Binkowski, who now runs her own fact-checking site which does not partner with Facebook.

According to Facebook, it values the ongoing partnerships and the work that these journalists do.

The third-party fact checking programme was launched in 2016 after the US Presidential election.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We’re planning to expand the programme to even more countries in 2019,” said Carden.

According to Facebook, three separate researches have found that the overall volume of false news on Facebook is decreasing since it put up third-party fact-checking programme and other anti-misinformation measures in place.

However, The Guardian report said the company has ignored journalists’ concerns.

Some newsroom leaders said “they had grown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially following revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after opponents by publicising their association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros”.

A New York Times investigation in November suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.

Also Read- Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt Won Favourite Actors at Kids Choice Awards

Reacting to the report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg denied they had any prior knowledge about this firm.

“It was later revealed that Sheryl Sandberg had directed her staff to research Soros’s financial interests after he publicly criticised the company,” the Guardian report said.

The report quoted another factchecker as saying that he was demoralised.

“They are a terrible company and, on a personal level, I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” said the anonymous factchecker. (IANS)