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Facebook Setting Up Specialist Team for 2019 India Elections

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Reportedly, Facebook’s FB is putting together a team of specialists to monitor the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India, per the Economic Times.

The main task of the team will be to distinguish between real political news and fake propaganda to prevent any misuse of information on the platform.

The team will comprise security and content specialists responsible for monitoring political content for 2019 elections.

Notably, a dedicated team, which is already in place in the country, will add new recruits, taking the count to 100. The main focus of the team is to monitor political content.

Facebook Heavily Criticized for Security Breach

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal that impacted 87 million subscribers, Facebook came under considerable pressure for compromising the security on its platform.

Following this, the government of India issued notices to Facebook to assess the impact on users in the country. Reportedly, the social media company admitted that around 5.62 lakh users in India were affected.

Moreover, Facebook was recently caught in another security breach, where personal information of more than 50 million users was compromised. This data breach may reportedly lead to a $1.63 billion fine by the European Union (EU).

It is believed that the majority of the accounts affected were from India, where the company has the maximum number of users.

Notably, on Jul 13, India surpassed the United States with the largest Facebook audience. The country has a total of 241 million active users compared with 240 million in the United States, according to The Next Web.

It is very important for Facebook to keep its user data safe, especially in India, which has the largest user base on the social media platform.

Facebook, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Facebook, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Facebook, Inc. Quote

Other Measures Taken to Secure the Platform

Facebook is making significant investments to strengthen security on its platform. The company currently has 15K people working on security and content review and expects to expand it to more than 20K by this year end.

Additionally, Facebook is improving transparency and security in both its ads and pages. It recently announced a pilot program to help secure U.S. candidates and campaign staff from “hackers and foreign adversaries.”

Moreover, Facebook also collaborated with Atlantic Council and the Digital Forensic Research Labfor to better monitor the dis-informative campaigns on the platform.

Further, the social media giant announced that the company will restrain from physically sending its employees to promote the use of the platform for political campaigns.

We believe Facebook’s efforts to plug security loopholes as well as limit fake news globally, will eventually boost trustworthiness.

However, aggressive investments for the initiatives related to improving ad transparency, removal of fake accounts and curbing fake news are expected to hurt profitability in the near term.

Facebook currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader computer technology sector are Match Group MTCH, The Trade Desk TTD and Angie's List ANGI. All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Match, The Trade Desk and Angie's List is projected at 12.5%, 25% and 25% respectively.

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