SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 15, 2016: Hit by charges that the social media giant distributed fake news which helped Donald Trump win the US presidential election, Facebook on Tuesday denied any such charges.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook “did not build and withhold any News Feed changes based on their potential impact on any one political party”.
“It developed two versions of a fix for click bait this year, and decided to trust algorithmic machine learning detection instead of only user behavior,” the report said, quoting a Facebook spokesperson.
NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.
Media reports said earlier that Facebook shelved a planned update earlier this year that could have identified fake news.
TechCrunch now reports that in January 2015, Facebook rolled out an update designed to combat hoax news stories.
In August, Facebook released another News Feed update designed to reduce clickbait stories.
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said earlier.
NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.
According to Facebook, “We always work to make News Feed more meaningful and informative, and that includes examining the quality and accuracy of items shared, such as click bait, spam and hoaxes”.
According to Trump, Facebook and Twitter helped him secure victory.
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
Speaking on CBS’ 60 Minutes programme last weekend, he said: “The fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I think it helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent. I think that social media has more power than the money they spent.”
Trump specified that he has more than 28 million followers across various social media platforms, and said that he was getting more each day. (IANS)
Tesla’s handling of Chief Executive Elon Musk’s proposal to take the carmaker private and its failure to promptly file a formal disclosure has raised governance concerns and sparked questions about how companies use social media.
Musk stunned investors last Tuesday by announcing on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private in a potential $72 billion transaction and that “funding” had been “secured.”
Tesla’s shares closed up 11 percent before retrenching after the Wall Street Journalreported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had asked Tesla why Musk announced his plans on Twitter and whether his statement was truthful.
Musk provided no details of his funding until Monday, when he said in a blog on Tesla’s website that he was in discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential backers but that financing was not yet nailed down.
Musk said his tweet and blogs were issued in his personal capacity as a private bidder for Tesla’s stock. A Tesla spokesman pointed Reuters to Musk’s blog in response to a request for comment.
Putting aside whether Musk misled anyone, the unorthodox manner in which he announced the news and Tesla’s failure to promptly clarify the situation with a regulatory filing is a corporate governance lapse that raises questions about how companies use social media to release market-moving news, securities lawyers said.
“Management buyouts or other take-private transactions already suffer from serious information asymmetry between management and public shareholders,” said Gabriel Rauterberg, a University of Michigan law professor.
SEC rules typically require companies to file an 8-K form within four business days of a significant corporate event.
While several securities lawyers said Musk’s tweets alone did not trigger this obligation, such a filing would be prudent given the unusual circumstances, David Axelrod, a partner at law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, said.
“An 8-K would provide some more details, it would say what stage negotiations are in, and provide more information than 53 characters in a tweet,” he added.
Full and fair disclosure
SEC guidelines published in 2013 allow companies and their executives to use social media to distribute material information, provided investors have been alerted that this is a possibility. Tesla did this in a 2013 filing.
But such disclosures have to be full and fair, meaning the information is complete and accessible by all investors at the same time, a bar that Musk’s tweets may not have met.
“Twitter is not designed to provide full and fair disclosure. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t, but in a series of 20 to 30 characters I’m not sure you’re getting full disclosure,” said Zachary Fallon, a former SEC attorney and principal at law firm Blakemore Fallon.
The SEC declined to comment Monday.
Securities lawyers said there was also a question mark over whether Musk selectively disclosed information on the possible terms of the deal when he subsequently replied to followers, two of whom claim in their handles to be investors.
Those tweets were not immediately visible to all followers of Musk’s main feed until he retweeted them.
History of Twitter use
The 47-year-old billionaire’s history of joking about Tesla and using twitter to bait his critics also appears to have undermined trust in Musk’s feed as a reliable source of company information, with many investors initially believing Tuesday’s tweet was a prank.
In his blog, Musk said he made the announcement on Twitter to ensure all investors were aware of his plan before speaking with the company’s largest shareholders.
But his claim to have done so as a private person presents a potential conflict of interest, said Nimish Patel, a lawyer with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.
“If you’re speaking on behalf of the company using resources like Twitter and the company website, while at the same time saying you’re a private individual expressing your own personal views, you are being inconsistent and creating confusion for investors. And when there’s confusion, the SEC is likely going to get involved,” he added. (VOA)