FacebookFB recently announced the acquisition of Boston-based start-up, Confirm.io. The company offers an application program interface (API), which remotely authenticates government-issued identification cards.
Per Reuters, Confirm.io's API helps users identify activities that may lead to fraud. Facebook is likely to use the technology to identify fake ad-buyers on its platform. This will help the company avoid incidents similar to the Russian ad-fiasco in future.
Russia Ad-Fiasco Damaged Reputation
In September 2017, Facebook identified Russian accounts which spent nearly $100,000 in ads (more than 3K), aimed at influencing the U.S. election (from June 2015 to May 2017). The company initially claimed that the ads were seen by nearly 10 million users, but eventually raised the number to 126 million.
Facebook testified to the Congress regarding the alleged misuse of its platform by Russian factors. Apart from the social media giant, Twitter TWTR and Google were also grilled for spreading fake news that allegedly influenced elections. Twitter also revealed that it detected more than 200 accounts related to Russian bot network.
Facebook, Inc. Price and Consensus
Facebook also hinted that Russia may have tried to meddle (though the extent is not known to be significant) with the Brexit vote, per BuzzFeed reports, sending shockwaves across the Atlantic.
Facebook Tightens Safety Measures
Facebook has been increasing safety and security of the users on the platform ever since the Russian ad fiasco.
In October 2017, Facebook established a new set of rules for advertisers to make ads more transparent. The company also made it mandatory for political advertisers to verify their identities.
Also, the company is likely to increase investments to strengthen security. It is expected double the number of people working on safety and security to 20K by 2018.
Per TechCrunch, Facebook is using signals, like IP addresses, to detect a fake account.
The company has also unveiled tools to prevent harassment on the platform and on Messenger by preventing friend requests and messages from a separate account of a user who has already been blocked. It also rolled out changes to tackle unwanted conversations on Messenger.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Facebook has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
The Trade Desk Inc. TTD and Micron Technology MU are stocks worth considering in the broader technology sector. The companies sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Trade Desk and Micron have a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 25% and 10%, respectively.
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