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  • L
    Facebook fined in South Korea for sharing user data without consent

    The US tech giant shared personal information of 3.3 million users without their consent, the South Korean government said.

    Facebook has been fined 6.7 billion won, approximately $6 million, in South Korea for sharing user data without their consent.
    The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) said the US company shared data of at least 3.3 million out of its 18 million users in Korea to other companies without their consent between May 2012 to June 2018.
    The commission said it would also file a criminal complaint against Facebook for breaking local personal information laws.
    Information shared by Facebook included users' names, academic history, job history, hometown, and relationship statuses.
    When users were logged into other third-party apps using their Facebook accounts, their information and those of their friends was shared with the services they were using, the PIPC said. These friends were unaware that their information was being shared with those services without their permission, it said.
    "A user agreed to share their information with a particular service when they logged in with their Facebook accounts. However, the user's friends didn't, and they were unaware that their data were also being shared," the commission said.
    These third-party apps then used the data provided by Facebook without users' permission to make customised advertisements to display on the social media service. Facebook ultimately made unfair profits by sharing user data without their consent, the PIPC said.

    Facebook also stored user password data without encryption, and didn't regularly notify users when the company accessed their data, it added.
    The commission also said Facebook turned in false or incomplete documents during the investigation. This made determining the precise scope of the company's violations difficult and hampered investigations, it said. Facebook was fined an additional 66 million won for these obstructions.
  • T
    The UK is creating a new agency to regulate Big Tech

    The UK plans to create a new agency to regulate large tech companies such as Google and Facebook. Starting in April 2021, the newly minted Digital Markets Unit (DMU), which will be a part of the country’s existing Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will enforce a code that will set new limits on tech’s biggest platforms, as well as attempt to create a more level playing field for smaller rivals.
    While the code has yet to be introduced, it will be designed to give consumers more control over their data and break down restrictions that make it difficult to use competing platforms. It may also give people the option to decide whether they can be subjected to personalized advertising. To enforce the code, the DMU will have the power to block and reverse decisions made by large tech companies. If they don’t comply with its directives, it will also have the power to fine them.
    “Online platforms bring huge benefits for businesses and society,” the government said. “But there is growing consensus in the UK and abroad that the concentration of power amongst a small number of tech companies is curtailing growth in the tech sector, reducing innovation and potentially having negative impacts on the people and businesses that rely on them.”
  • R
    Facebook probe in final stages as FTC, U.S. states prepare lawsuits

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan group of dozens of state attorneys general are in the final stages of filing one or more major antitrust complaints against Facebook Inc in early December, according to four sources familiar with the situation.
    FTC staff undertaking a probe of the company has recommended to commissioners that they sue the social media company in federal court, which would allow the group of states, led by New York, to join the lawsuit, according to one source.

    As many as 41 states may sign on to the lawsuit, three sources said. The filing of the lawsuit or lawsuits could slip into next year, the sources said.
    Following news reports on the Facebook investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement: "We don't comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, but as we have said before, we will continue to use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions stifled competition, reduced choices, or put user data at risk."
    The FTC and states have yet to finalize how they might file any lawsuits. The FTC may file alone to a district court while the states file their complaint separately; the FTC can file to an administrative law judge and states can file in district court, or they can join forces and sue together in district court, two sources said.
    States discussed the matter during a call on Wednesday, two sources said.
    FTC commissioners could make a decision as early as Friday, when a meeting is scheduled. Unlike the Justice Department, which typically gets new leaders with a new U.S. president, the FTC commissioners' terms are unaffected by Inauguration Day in January.
    The FTC declined comment while Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.
    In addition to New York, other lead states on the investigation include Colorado, Nebraska, Tennessee and Utah, one of the sources said.
    The legal action is expected to focus on Facebook's alleged violations of antitrust law to protect its gigantic market share in social media.
    The FTC and states have converged on similar accusations, though what they will allege in court has not been finalized, one of the sources briefed on the discussions said. They contend Facebook stifled competition with its $1 billion acquisition of the image-sharing app Instagram in 2012, weakened privacy protections in the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp after acquiring it for $22 billion in 2014 and selectively squashed rivals by refusing to share user data, the source said.
    States are not expected to list specific remedies in their lawsuit, the source added.
    Startup investors, antitrust experts and privacy activists have criticized the FTC for its approvals of the Instagram and WhatsApp purchases.
    A comprehensive report by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee of the four Big Tech companies this year found that Facebook used its access to superior market data to identify coming competitive threats so those companies could be copied, purchased or choked off by restricting access to Facebook data.
  • N
    Fake ads in Facebook newsfeed on the rise

    As you probably know, Facebook earns (most of) their revenue from ads.
    And I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that they’re everywhere!
    Some scammers are now taking advantage of Facebook’s advertising potential by posting fake ads that are designed to steal your money, your personal information, or both.
    Most fake ads will show up in your Newsfeed just like the legitimate “Sponsored” posts that we’re all used to seeing. They just won’t have the word “Sponsored” above them.
    If you see something that appears to be an ad but you don’t see the word “Sponsored” above it, you can be 100% certain that it’s a scam.
    Other fake ads might show up in the regular advertising section of the sidebar if they were placed via Facebook’s ad platform.
    Without exception, ALL legitimate ads on Facebook will be marked with the word “Sponsored”. Every one of them.
    But just because you see the ad is marked as “Sponsored” doesn’t necessarily mean the ad isn’t fraudulent. It simply means the person who posted it is paying Facebook to display it.

    As always, if an offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is. And on Facebook you can place those odds at pretty close to 100%.
    If you happen to click or tap on a fake ad you’ll probably be taken to a fraudulent website designed to steal your personal information and credit/debit card info. And it’ll probably download malware on your device as well.
    Bottom line: Always evaluate any ad you see on Facebook with a healthy dose of skepticism, especially the ones that are displayed in your Newsfeed.
    And yes, that does include the ads that are clearly marked as “Sponsored”.
    You can safely assume that any ads that aren’t marked as “Sponsored” are fake without even having to think about it.
    Carefully analyze exactly what the ad is offering. Does it make sense for the company from a business standpoint? If not, the “offer” is probably a scam.
    If you have even the slightest doubt about the legitimacy of an ad, don’t click or tap on it.
  • E
    Pennsylvania officials warn residents to beware of Facebook unemployment scam

    Facebook posts and other social media messages asking for personal details in order to claim a prize could be linked to unemployment fraud, Pennsylvania officials warned.
    The state Department of Labor & Industry said residents should be wary of calls, emails, text messages, social media messages or other communication seeking information such as login credentials for the unemployment system website and full Social Security numbers.

    At the same time, Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak said an email sent last week to people claiming federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits was legitimate.
    The message asking for user identification numbers and the last four digits of claimants’ Social Security numbers raised concern among some recipients that it was an attempt by Facebook scammers to obtain personal information. Unemployment Compensation Benefits Policy Director Susan Dickinson said the message was part of an effort to identify claimants who still need help with their benefits as the department works with accounting firm Ernst & Young to investigate unresolved claims.

    Pennsylvania and other states were struck this spring by a wave of fraud targeting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, which were created in federal coronavirus relief legislation for self-employed and freelance workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment compensation.
    Facebook scammers used personal information stolen elsewhere to file fraudulent claims. In response, the state implemented a number of security measures, including hiring an outside organization to verify the identity of claimants.
  • D
    Authorities warn of Facebook Marketplace scam involving phony preowned vehicle ads

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If you’re in the market to buy a pre-owned vehicle, the FBI is warning potential buyers to be wary of using Facebook Marketplace.
    According to officials, a scam operation using Bluff Online Sales has been ripping people off using fake online ads regarding the sale of preowned vehicles. Clint Wactor, the owner of Bluff Road Auto Sales, said the dealership noticed the scam two months ago. Since then, the company has been getting calls from people who said they sent money to the scammer and did not get what they paid for.
    “When people see the very low prices on these fake ads and call us before sending any money, we tell them what is going on,” said Wactor. “But when someone communicates with the scammer through Messenger or email, they have no idea who they are talking with. That is when the scammer has opportunity to rip someone off.”
    The bogus operation was using the actual phone number, address, and website URL of Bluff Road Auto Sales. Wactor said his dealership was receiving phone calls every seven to 10 seconds about the scam at one point.
    Bluff Road Auto Sales has placed a warning about the scam on its website and its Facebook page. The company has also placed a recording on their phone system to warn callers.
  • M
    what do you expect with solid weeks of bad news - filtered/fake news, users realizing that their attention is this company's primary product and backlash of the algos built to maximize that, users enraged with unabated data harvesting, measurable loss of users, measurable loss of advertisers, CEO sells of $50 million shares, sec 230, anti trust, federal law suits, significanet completion, - this will continue to bleed red until the narrative changes.
  • L
    Facebook Threatens Research Team To Shut Down In A Bid To Hide Their Dirty Secrets

    Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), in a bid to hide their dirty secrets, recently threatened a small academic team to shut, all in the name of protecting user privacy!
    The research group which a project of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering called ‘Ad Observervatory’ is known to have done remarkable work when it comes to exposing the social media behemoth’s various failures such as containing scams and political misinformation. 
    Instead of appreciating and recognising their work, Facebook has directed them to cease their ongoing public-interest research project completely and delete all their collected data by the end of this month, or else they will be subjected to “additional enforcement action”.

    Interesting enough, the reason the social media giant has cited for taking this particular action is – protecting user privacy, something which obviously is bogus at best!
    Facebook’s self-serving advertisement platform for long has been the absolute favourite of political tricksters. It has been used in many cases to spread highly targeted misinformation to specific groups of people who might act on them. Because of such shortcomings, as we all know, Facebook has been fined multiple times by the U.S Congress and the British Parliament. 
    Every time when the company is made to cough up a large sum of money they claimed to have learnt their lessons and assures of putting all the needed measures to prevent the same going forward. But did Facebook actually make good on their promises? To find out the answer, entered the NYU’s ‘Ad Observervatory’ project.
    The research team built a browser plugin called ‘Ad Observer‘ that Facebook users could install voluntarily. Once active, this plugin scraped the data of every ad a user came across the Facebook platform and sent it back to the research team.
    From there on, various scholars and accountability journalists accessed the data in order to analyze what in reality is really happening on the platform at the ground level. The research team, in doing so, time and time again, found several massive failures in Facebook’s ability to deliver on their own policies and promises, which now brings us to the present situation.

    It seems like Zuckerberg has had enough of the NYU’s academic team calling them out on their gross shortcomings and now it has threatened legal action against them. Facebook has claimed that the plugin along with all the data it has collected over time is a violation of their terms and service and thus needs to be terminated at once.
    In other words, the social media giant doesn’t want any third party bodies to scrutinize their ad policy enforcement which could lead to Government watchdogs or regulators finding out all the secrets they tucked away under their rug.
  • C
    Articles starting to appear providing facts and details regarding how FB, TWTR and GOOG facilitated the largest instance of mass voter/election fraud in U.S. history.
  • r
    State, federal antitrust lawsuits likely to challenge Facebook for buying rivals and weaponizing data

    State and federal investigators are preparing to bring antitrust charges against Facebook that will challenge the tech giant’s acquisition of two rivals, Instagram and WhatsApp, alleging that the deals helped create an anti-competitive social networking juggernaut that has left users with few quality alternatives.
    The charges form a critical part of what could be a wide-ranging legal salvo, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, ultimately threatening to saddle Facebook with its toughest regulatory challenge in its nearly 17-year history.

    As the state and federal probes enter their final phases, investigators have explored how Instagram and WhatsApp changed in the years after Facebook purchased them, according to the three people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a law enforcement proceeding. Government antitrust watchdogs have weighed whether to contend in lawsuits that these transactions have left users with worse services — and fewer privacy protections — than they might have had if the companies had remained independent, the sources said.
    With the text-messaging service WhatsApp, in particular, Facebook had promised users that it would preserve the messaging company’s independence and strong privacy protections when it was purchased in 2014. It made the same commitment to regulators, who then gave a greenlight to the deal. But Facebook reversed course years later and has sought to integrate its users’ data with the social networking site’s other services, a controversial move that has raised fresh concerns given the tech giant’s past privacy mishaps.
    Investigators also have eyed the way in which Facebook manages its vast trove of user data, and the policies it has in place that govern when and how third-party app developers and other companies can access it — setting up the potential, the three sources said, for forthcoming state and federal complaints to contend that Facebook weaponized its most valuable assets as a way to stamp out emerging rivals.
    Each of the sources acknowledged that any state and federal lawsuits have not been finalized, meaning that investigators could still alter their thinking, potentially to maximize their potency in court. Nor are these the only issues that government officials have explored as part of their wide-ranging Facebook probes, the three people familiar with the matter said.
  • J
    Secret Sister Facebook scam: ‘Gift exchange’ con returns ahead of Christmas 2020

    “Gift exchange” scams are appearing across Facebook again as the Christmas season approaches.

    The scams – sometimes going by the name “secret sister” – are particularly worrying because they appear to be legitimate, are similar to honest gift exchanges, and take advantage of people’s desire to connect with others at Christmas.
    But while they might appear innocent, they in fact something like a pyramid scheme: only sustainable as long as somebody else is getting ripped off.
    The scam works by asking people involved to post on Facebook, asking their friends if they want to get involved in a gift exchange. If they do, they are told they will send out one gift but will receive 36 back from anonymous people – hence the name “secret sister” – seemingly making it an obviously good idea.
    Anyone taking part will first be encouraged to send a gift, worth $10 or some other relatively low value, to a person whose name appears at the top of a list. Once that person has received a gift, they can be removed from the list, so that the next person will also get to receive one; when you get involved by sending a gift, your name is added to the bottom of the list, in the hope that eventually you’ll get to receive a number of gifts in addition to the one you sent.
    As the group grows, so will the number of gifts. So people are encouraged to spread the word as much and quickly as possible, tagging friends to ensure that it spreads across Facebook – and it is working, with the posts proving popular, as they have in many years in the past.
    The idea – sending out only one gift, receiving many in return – sounds too good to be true. And that’s because it is.
    Such gift exchanges are a form of pyramid scheme. If you do win, and that is unlikely, it’s only as a result of people lower down the chain from you losing out – just as with any other pyramid scheme.
    It is mathematically impossible for everyone to receive the gifts as promised, and it becomes practically more unlikely that any particular person will the later they join in with the scam.
    People at the start may well send out one gift and receive many, since others will be joining behind them. But they will then need other people to join, and so on; very quickly, the number of people who are needed to join grows so that it requires more people than are alive on Earth.
    Still, some people might well get the number of gifts they were promised, if they are early enough. This isn’t the kind of scam that defrauds everyone who gets involved, and so anyone you see, and people posting that they have done well out of it may not be lying.
    But whether they are being genuine or not, someone somewhere will be losing out, and anyone get involved is likely to be in that group. Even if you do happen to get the gifts that are promised, you are only doing so because other people aren’t.
    As such, the safest thing to do is to ignore any Facebook friends who offer this kind of gift exchange, or send them an article like this one to explain the dangers of such scams.
  • F
    AR is Apple's Future, while New Competitors such as Facebook and WIMI Hologram are Rising.
  • M
    $300 before Christmas.
  • I
    Go buy an oculus quest 2 for 299$ and you will realize that Facebook owns this decade’s computing platform. That’s Zuckerberg’s plan .. 5 years from now he will be owning the equivalent of today’s iPhones and androids.
  • J
    Facebook will be fine. All companies have to pay taxes. No big deal.
  • G
    If Congress breaks up Facebook, the combined pieces will have greater stock price than its mark than what is worth today
  • T
    FTC Chair Issues Monopoly Warning as Facebook Decision Nears

    (Bloomberg) -- The chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said antitrust enforcers need to be worried about dominant companies buying startups that are emerging competitive threats -- highlighting one of the main issues in the agency’s investigation of Facebook Inc.
    Joe Simons said in a speech Thursday that takeovers of nascent competitors can be harmful to consumers and said that enforcers need to be ready to step in to stop such deals.

    “A monopolist can squash a nascent competitor by buying it, not just by targeting it with anti-competitive actions,” Simons said at an American Bar Association conference. “It may be easier and more effective to buy the nascent threat, only if to keep it out of the hands of others.”
    Simons’s remarks come as the FTC is nearing the end of an antitrust investigation of Facebook that began last year. The agency is preparing a lawsuit against the social media giant and could file the case in a matter of weeks, Bloomberg News has reported. A coalition of state attorneys general is also investigating the company.
    Ohio Attorney General David Yost, a Republican who is part of that group and another one investigating Alphabet Inc.’s Google, said Thursday during a separate event hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association, that both companies have a track record of co-opting internet challengers.
    “When a new app or internet service begins to generate buzz and subscribers -- say Instagram or Whatsapp -- it gets bought up by Facebook and Google,” Yost said. That acquisition strategy “prevents any competitor from growing big enough to challenge Facebook and Google’s market dominance.”
    Both the federal and state officials have been probing whether past acquisitions by Facebook violated antitrust laws. Although the FTC investigated and approved two of Facebook’s biggest deals -- the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp -- it has the authority to revisit past transactions and go to court to unwind them if it determines they were anticompetitive.

    Facebook says both Instagram and WhatsApp faced other competitors at the time of the acquisitions and that it was Facebook’s subsequent investments that have made them successful.
    When Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testified in Congress in July, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York accused Facebook of buying Instagram because it saw the company as a threat and bought it instead of competing.
    “We must be willing and able to recognize that harm to competition might not be as obvious from a look at the marketplace as it stands currently,” said Simons. If officials only consider a “static picture” of a market, “then we risk forfeiting the benefits of competition that could arise in the future.”
  • E
    Dozens of Kiwis lose vehicles in 'common' Facebook Marketplace scam

    An investigation is underway after dozens of New Zealanders lost their cars in a common scam through Facebook Marketplace.
    Police are warning Kiwis to be aware of the "common scam" after receiving more than 50 reports of the scam across Auckland in the last 12 months.
    Detective Senior Sergeant Callum McNeill said so far nine people have been charged with dishonesty offences in relation to the incidents.
    "In these scam reports, members of the public report that a person has purchased a vehicle from them after they listed it on Facebook marketplace," he said.
    "The purchaser will pay the owner by cheque and the funds will then show as "pending" in the seller's bank account.
    "The cheques are subsequently dishonoured or reversed due to insufficient funds three to six days later. By this time the vehicle is already in the possession of the scammer, who has typically on-sold the vehicle to another member of the public."
  • b
    bubble what bubble
    Zuckerberg, Dorsey & stockholders have yet to feel the wrath of the public who have unknowingly had their privacy rights infringed upon to an extent much greater that they had understood. It is clear they have stretched the boundaries of reasonableness. The party’s now over. IMO, the value of both companies is less than it was two days ago.