Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Facebook    FB

Mes dernières consult.
Most popular
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector newsTweets
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

Facebook Feels Heat In Probe Of Russia -- WSJ

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
02/21/2018 | 12:13am CET
By Georgia Wells and Robert McMillan 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (February 20, 2018).

Facebook Inc. is contending with a new wave of criticism prompted by the U.S. indictment alleging that Russia manipulated social-media platforms -- and by a Facebook executive's attempts to address the issue.

The indictment against Russian companies and individuals described how an organization called the Internet Research Agency allegedly used Facebook, Twitter Inc., and the YouTube arm of Alphabet Inc.'s Google to sow discord in the U.S. starting in 2014. The document's description of events showed that Facebook and its Instagram photo-sharing unit were particularly central to the alleged Russian attempts to influence U.S. public opinion.

Researchers who study social media said the indictment, secured by special counsel Robert Mueller, showed that Facebook was ill-prepared for such efforts. Facebook has more than 25,000 employees, but fewer than 100 Russian provocateurs armed with social-media savvy and widely available technological tools were able to manipulate its platform for years, the indictment says.

Comments by Facebook's head of advertising, Rob Goldman, after the indictment was handed up Friday fueled further criticism. Mr. Goldman, writing on Twitter, said there are "easy ways to fight" the Russian campaign, starting with having a "well educated citizenry." He also tweeted that the Russians' main goal wasn't to sway the 2016 election, but more broadly to sow division in the U.S.

Mr. Goldman's series of eight tweets provoked more than 9,000 responses on Twitter, many of them angry.

"You really are not in a position to preach and your astonishing tweets have created confusion and anger," Mainardo de Nardis, a senior executive at advertising giant Omnicom Group Inc., said in a tweet Sunday. "Enough damage done over the past 2+ years. In the absence of real actions silence would be appreciated." Mr. de Nardis didn't respond to requests for comment.

A Facebook spokesman said Mr. Goldman, who didn't respond to a request for comment, had sent his tweets in a personal capacity. The company pointed to a statement from Joel Kaplan, Facebook's vice president of global public policy, saying, "Nothing we found contradicts the Special Counsel's indictments."

Russia's government has repeatedly denied any government effort to influence the U.S. election.

Facebook has struggled for much of the past year to respond to mounting ire from users, politicians, customers and others over its role in facilitating the spread of misinformation and divisive content.

The indictment shows that "there are lots of levers that get pulled in social media for the sake of manipulation and a lot of those levers aren't even known by the companies themselves," said Sam Woolley, an Oxford University research associate who has studied propaganda efforts on social-media platforms.

The indictment documented an unprecedented manipulation campaign targeting Facebook, its Instagram platform, Twitter and YouTube. Starting in 2014, the Russians built an influence operation that drew followers to bogus accounts that spread disinformation, organized U.S. demonstrations and even paid a person to dress up like Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform at a West Palm Beach, Fla., rally, the indictment says.

While much of the attention around the Russian manipulation focused on its efforts to stoke divisions ahead the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is clear the campaign continued since then. The Wall Street Journal reported in October that some of the Russian-backed social-media accounts posted divisive messages at least as recently as last August.

The Twitter comments of Mr. Goldman, Facebook's head of advertising, also fueled disagreement about the intent of the Russian efforts. One of Mr. Goldman's tweets said "swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal" of the Russian ads, and that "the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election."

On Saturday, President Donald Trump cited Mr. Goldman's comment in support of the idea that Russia's actions didn't affect the election.

Following criticism that he was obscuring the intent of the Russians, Mr. Goldman later tweeted that "the Russian campaign was certainly in favor of Mr. Trump." He also dialed back some of his claims. "I am only speaking here about the Russian behavior on Facebook. That is the only aspect that I observed directly," he tweeted.

Clint Watts, a fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute who studied the Russian influence campaign, said the ads bought on Facebook were only "a much smaller part of a very large effort."

"Mr. Goldman should have stayed silent," Mr. Watts said, adding that playing down the effect of the influence campaign risked further angering Americans. "The public is upset that they got duped on Facebook's platform. Facebook got duped," he said. "It makes it seem like they don't get it."

While Facebook's role in the Russian campaign is in the spotlight, some researchers who have studied the efforts note that it was far from the only institution to fall short.

"Let's not mince words. The Obama administration did not react quickly enough to this problem. The intelligence community did not react quickly enough to this problem," said Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Facebook has said it is taking a number of steps to prevent efforts like the Russian campaign from happening again, including hiring 10,000 employees tasked with policing hate speech, as well as coming up with ways to uproot fake accounts. Facebook officials also have emphasized that the company provided information to Mr. Mueller.

Mr. Goldman, too, said Facebook is taking "aggressive steps to prevent this sort of meddling in the future," including verification for all political advertisers. Still, his comments struck some observers as tone deaf.

"It was an almost perfect example of Silicon Valley overconfidence and lack of sophistication when it comes to politics," said Josh Hendler, former director of technology for the Democratic National Committee, which suffered a cyberattack ahead of the 2016 election that U.S. officials blamed on Russia.

--Deepa Seetharaman contributed to this article.

Write to Georgia Wells at [email protected] and Robert McMillan at [email protected]

Valeurs citées dans l'article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET 0.70% 1103.59 Delayed Quote.1.83%
TWITTER INC -0.67% 32.84 Delayed Quote.39.98%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on FACEBOOK
12:13aFacebook Feels Heat In Probe Of Russia -- WSJ
02/20FACEBOOK : backlash compounded by exec's tweetstorm about Russian election meddl..
02/20Facebook Feels Heat In Probe Of Russia -- WSJ
02/20Facebook Battles New Criticism After Indictment Against Russians -- Update
02/19FACEBOOK : Battles New Criticism After U.S. Indictment Against Russians
02/19FACEBOOK : to verify ads with postcards
02/19FACEBOOK : is fighting electoral meddling with paper postcards
02/19FACEBOOK : Why Was Facebook So Easy to Hijack?
02/19FACEBOOK : to verify ads by snail mail Facebook to verify ads with postcards aft..
02/19FACEBOOK : to verify ads with postcards after alleged Russian meddling
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
02/20REUTERS : FCC set to publish net neutrality reversal 
02/20EATON VANCE ENHANCED EQUITY INCOME F : Great Monthly Income CEF, February 2018 R.. 
02/20DAILY INSIDER RATINGS ROUND UP 2/16/ : Mli, odt, rarx, snap, ston, wair 
02/18Tracking George Soros's Portfolio - Q4 2017 Update 
02/16In wake of indictments, Facebook doubling security staff to 20,000 
Financials ($)
Sales 2018 55 370 M
EBIT 2018 25 330 M
Net income 2018 21 521 M
Finance 2018 49 795 M
Yield 2018 -
P/E ratio 2018 24,53
P/E ratio 2019 20,12
EV / Sales 2018 8,41x
EV / Sales 2019 6,37x
Capitalization 515 B
Duration : Period :
Facebook Technical Analysis Chart | FB | US30303M1027 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends FACEBOOK
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 45
Average target price 221 $
Spread / Average Target 25%
EPS Revisions
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
FACEBOOK1.73%515 231
TWITTER INC39.98%24 557
MATCH GROUP INC32.16%11 352
LINE CORP-4.93%9 899
SINA CORP17.19%8 221
MIXI INC-14.84%3 163