Dec 12, 2019

Report: FTC considering Facebook injunction over antitrust concerns

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Officials at the Federal Trade Commission are weighing seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook over antitrust concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Where it stands: Such an injunction would seek to bar Facebook from integrating different products. Facebook also owns Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. A majority of the FTC's five member board would need to vote in favor of seeking an injunction in federal court.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: "If it seeks such a preliminary injunction, the commission’s aim is likely to prevent Facebook from preemptively integrating products in ways that would hinder future antitrust remedies. More product integration means more barriers to possible government efforts to get Facebook to spin out or sell off services like Instagram or WhatsApp."

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The FTC's preemptive strike on Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News that the Federal Trade Commission is weighing immediate action to block Facebook's effort to integrate its messaging products casts a pall over the company's plans, whether or not regulators actually follow through.

The big picture: CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in January, 2019 that Facebook would integrate the technical foundations of its messaging services — Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Facebook struggles to clean up its messes

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

To speed new products to market, Facebook famously used to tell its employees to "move fast and break things." The job of cleaning up some of the resulting debris is one the company is tackling a lot more slowly.

Why it matters: Facebook is under pressure to offer users more control and provide the public with better accountability. The company has responded with a mix of apologies, policy changes and remedial steps.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

Exclusive: Facebook adding part-time fact-checking contractors

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook is creating a new pilot program in the U.S. that will leverage part-time contracted "community reviewers" to expedite its fact-checking process.

The big picture: The community reviewers will help to corroborate or debunk stories that Facebook's machine learning tools flag as potential misinformation. This will make it easier for Facebook's fact-checking partners to quickly debunk false claims.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019