Facebook shares a little weaker; UK MPs requests Russian ‘fake-news’ evidence

on Oct 24, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Facebook shares edged lower for a second day in the US Monday trading session. And, while pre-trade activity suggests they could open in the green, a number of details could weigh.

Facebook shares closed around 2% lower Monday, after a marginal decline, Friday.

A number of details likely weighed, including a subdued market tone at the start of a busy earning week for the US. Investors may also be turning a little cautious ahead of Facebook’s third quarter earnings report, due November 1st.

Russian-Fake news query

British MPs have sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, requesting details and proof of any Russian-linked ‘fake-news’ on its site.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Media and Sport Committee, has written asking if Facebook has any evidence of such activity in relation to the 2016 Brexit referendum or the 2017 general election.

“Part of this inquiry will focus on the role of foreign actors abusing platforms such as yours to interfere in the political discourse of other nations,” Mr. Collins wrote.

Facebook said it would review the request and respond as required.

Facebook tests news feed split

As Facebook continues to face questions from around the globe about its impact on important events, the tech giant is testing the possibility of splitting users of the social media platform’s newsfeeds into two. One would be for personal posts and the other would be for public and commercial posts.

The test is currently being run in six smaller countries, Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka. The test could go on for months.

If the tech giant discovers users prefer a split feed, it’s possible they could then go on to charge commercial users to have their ads placed in user’s feeds.

Facebook denies that is the case.

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content,” said Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook.

“There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention,” he added.