Breakfast Briefing 12.16.2016: Govt departments under scrutiny on comms; Justice Dept takes on Omnicom; Facebook tackles fake news

Facebook has started to investigate ways it can limit misinformation on its website.

Time is running out to get your entries in for the PRWeek Global Awards, which honor transformative work that reflects the highest standards in building brands, establishing trust, and enabling the growth of international enterprise. The deadline is January 5, 2017. For more information, go here.

Facebook said Thursday it had instigated experiments to limit misinformation on its site. The tests include making it easier for its 1.8 billion members to report fake news, and creating partnerships with outside fact-checking organizations to help it indicate when articles are false. The company also said it is changing some advertising practices to stop purveyors of fake news from profiting from it.

Federal departments will have to show the worth of their communications campaigns to keep their funding and staff during the Trump presidency. PRWeek analyzes the options.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Omnicom Group in a probe into possible contract pricing manipulation among ad agencies. The advertising and marketing-services company, which owns PR firms including FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli, said two of its subsidiaries received subpoenas Wednesday. Omnicom’s legal counsel has contacted representatives of the antitrust division and is cooperating with the investigation.

Russian hackers tried to penetrate the Republican Party, according to U.S. officials, though the efforts were much less persistent than efforts to target the Democrats at the same time. The efforts failed to get past security efforts at the political party.

Japan has taken over from China as the U.S.’s top creditor. It is the largest owner of government bonds for two years Japan held $1.13 trillion of U.S. debt at the end of October, according to U.S. data released Thursday.

Tencent takes the fight to Apple and Spotify over streaming music. The Chinese website is increasing the reach of its Joox music-streaming service in Southeast Asia and also exploring plans to enter the Indian market.

Yahoo’s plans to make users reset their passwords after a new security breach have the potential to disrupt the planned sale of its assets to Verizon, according to security experts.

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