11/17/17           Andrea Garrow      Economics The five companies I’ve been recording and reading about are  Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX), and Google (GOOGL). These companies have had many highlights leading to their popularity and growth. Facebook has been an increasingly growing company since their Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February of 2012 with little drops in their stock value. At that time shares were at $38 and the company was worth $104 billion. As for what Facebook’s company has been recently up to in this past year and their plans for the future has been noted in news articles. In 2013 Facebook made steps to create a more privacy-respecting social media platform. On April 15 Facebook made an announcement stating that they had made an alliance with the United States National Association of Attorneys General. This was to ensure parents and their kids were provided with information and other tools to help retain their images on this social media platform and not become defamed. A month later on May 28, 2013 Facebook would have a controversy over hate speech and freedom of speech. There was content that was promoting violence against women and at first Facebook had little response to this by saying ” While it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies.” so advertisers began pulling ads in a way to protest this issue. Facebook then responded by saying they would update their policies on hate speech, review and update their guidelines, increase the amount of staff and training for there to be more of a response to these types of issues, and create a more prominent line between hate speech and freedom of speech. Later in September of 2013 the Chinese government decided to unblock websites like Facebook and Twitter which were presumed as inappropriate or politically sensitive. This was apart of the Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, it was to tend to the curious foreigners who would eventually question the difference between the FTZ and the rest of China. But this didn’t last long because it was then reported that China had no plans on lifting the restrictions or changing the internet policy.As 2015 approached fake news stories and hoaxes became increasing popular on Facebook.  On January 15 it was announced that Facebook would make steps towards declining the amount of theses stories. Even though they stated they won’t remove these stories they now allow users to mark them as “purposefully fake or deceitful news” will look more into the reports made on the hoaxes.In 2016, the highlight of Facebook’s year was likely the ads bought by Russia and the pages made by Russia. These pages and ads were promoted on Facebook to increase the chance of Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. There have been over 3,000 ads found that were Russia bought and linked to a Russian company with Kremlin ties. Also identified was 470 fake Facebook pages and accounts that spent at least $100,000 on ads, these ads were mostly focused on political beliefs and swaying the election. 2017 has seemed to be a relatively quiet and uneventful year for Facebook. On January 15, 2017 it was announced by Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook, that Facebook was opening a startup incubator in Paris. It is going to be run on a campus called Station F and ” will provide 80 desks and space for 10-15 independent “data-driven” startups over a six-month period”. Later in April of 2017 Facebook announced their first Virtual Reality app, Facebook Spaces. This app was made into a beta for the Oculus Rift and is on the Oculus store. Users can create their own avatars or chose photos that they have been recently tagged in and meet up to three of their friends in a virtual space. And finally one of the most recent acquisitions to the Facebook company was the tbh app which was bought for an amount that hasn’t been announced and will remain independent like other acquisitions like Instagram and Whatsapp. Amazon has also been a growing company especially during these past couple years. Starting in 2013 Amazon would create a partnership with the United States Postal Service which would lead to them delivering orders on Sundays.

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