Facebook's stock just had its worst day since November


There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the spread of fake news and disinformation on Facebook influenced the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg got a private admonishment from President Obama shortly after Donald Trump's election victory, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Zuckerberg said he plans to sell up to 75 million shares worth US$12.75 billion ($17.4b) at today's share price. "But he told Obama that those messages weren't widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy", the newspaper said, quoting people it said had knowledge of the exchange.

Multiple congressional committees, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller, are now investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin. The company had previously resisted sharing the information, citing concerns over privacy.

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Facebook is now facing intense scrutiny over its role in the 2016 election, after the company revealed that it had sold roughly 3,000 political ads to Russia-based groups during the course of the election.

Aides to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama analyzed the data and shared it with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I'm glad they came through with some information", Senator Warner told reporters after Facebook handed over the information. In its five years as a public company, there have been many times when other shareholders might have questioned or blocked moves-such as acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp-that proved over time to be very smart decisions.

McGoldrick said on the panel: "If I were Facebook and Google and everyone else, I would be developing a code of conduct and a set of criteria".

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Facebook cybersecurity experts notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation with their suspicions of a Russian intelligence operation in June 2016, after tracking a Russian hacker group known as APT28, or Fancy Bear, which the US intelligence community has alleged is part of Russian military intelligence unit the GRU. Facebook's security team had uncovered suspicious accounts from a Kremlin-backed hacking team APT28 in June previous year.

Zuckerberg said Facebook had not as yet found any attempt at election meddling on Facebook in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is up for reelection on September 24.

"The way campaigns have unfolded, we just start accepting insane stuff as normal and people if they just repeat attacks enough and outright lies over and over again", Obama said at the time. But those who break the law or Facebook's policies, he added, "are going to face consequences afterwards".

Facebook shares fell 4.5 percent on Monday, the worst day since November 3, as investors digested the company's reaction to political pressure and new planned share sales from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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