How the 2020 election war on bots and trolls differs from 2016

Stock Alert: Varonis Systems Shares Surge 12% In Premarket

Shares of Varonis Systems Inc. (VRNS) are surging over 12% in pre-market today, after the company issued upbeat Q4 guidance, while reporting better-than-expected Q3 results. The stock has been trading in the range of $48.95 – $130.91 for the past one year, and is currently trading at $137.40, up $14.97 or 12.23% in the pre-market session Tuesday.

Q4 Outlook

The company projects fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings in the range of $0.10 – $0.13 per share, on revenue of $82 million – $85 million. Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts estimate a loss of $0.02 per share and revenue of $79.76 million for the quarter.

Q3 Results

The company’s Q3 net loss was $19.2 million or $0.61 per share compared to a loss of $16.9 million or $0.56 per share last year. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $2.12 million or $0.06 per share compared to a loss of $4.84 million or $0.16 per share prior year. Total revenues increased 17% to $76.8 million, compared to $65.6 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of $0.13 per share on revenue of $70.17 million for the quarter. Analysts’ estimate typically exclude certain special items.

Ankhi Das quits Facebook

“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director India of Facebook, said in an e-mailed statement

Ankhi Das, Facebook’s head of public policy who was in the eye of storm over alleged bias in blocking of hate content on the social media platform, has quit the company.

“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director India of Facebook, said in an e-mailed statement.

Kroger Co. Reconfirms 2020 Guidance – Quick Facts

The Kroger Co. (KR) reconfirmed its 2020 guidance on identical sales, adjusted FIFO operating profit, adjusted earnings per share and adjusted free cashflow. Adjusted earnings per share is anticipated in a range of $3.20 – $3.30.

“We are creating shareholder value by executing our strategy. We have returned approximately $6.4 billion to shareholders via dividends and repurchased shares since the beginning of fiscal 2017. Kroger is growing market share and our total shareholder return has outperformed the market and our peer group over the last 12 months,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s CEO.

Denver weather: Cold morning set to warm into 40s before a warmer weekend

Temperatures will still be in the teens when Denverites start their day on Tuesday but a gradual warm up is set to happen over the next few days.

Monday brought several inches of snow and record-breaking cold temperatures. While early temperatures Tuesday were around 12 degrees with wind chill hitting minus-3, it is expected to be much warmer with a high of 40 degrees today with a low of 20 tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Wednesday will be sunny with a high of 46 degrees and a low around 26 degrees, the NWS reported. Thursday and Friday will continue the warming trend with highs of 56 and 59, respectively.

Microsoft, Adobe, C3.ai Launch Tool To Help Predict Revenue, Product Demand

Microsoft Corp. has joined with Adobe Inc. and enterprise AI software provider C3.ai to launch a new tool that would help customers to accurately forecast revenue and product demand, among other things.

The C3 AI CRM powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 would provide an integrated suite of industry-specific AI-enabled CRM solutions including marketing, sales, and customer service. The tech giant said the tool integrates with Adobe Experience Cloud, and is pre-built and configured for various industries.

C3 AI CRM is immediately available, with Adobe Experience Cloud sold separately.

The tool can also identify and reduce customer churn, identify highly-qualified prospects, next-best offer, next-best product, as well as AI-driven segmentation, marketing, and targeting.

The companies, in a joint go-to-market offering, will integrate Microsoft Dynamics 365, Adobe Experience Cloud, and C3.ai’s industry-specific data models, connectors, and AI models.

It will be sold through dedicated sales teams, agents and industry partners to target enterprise accounts across multiple industries. The companies would market the jointly branded offering globally.

How the 2020 election war on bots and trolls differs from 2016

The 2016 election exposed how social media could be used by a foreign adversary to sow dissent and distrust within American borders. In 2020, the fight against those threats rages on, and the number of players has expanded, abroad and domestically.

"One thing that gets lost is disinformation and online media manipulation in 2020 does not look the way it looked in 2008 and even 2016," said Zarine Kharazian, an assistant editor at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Lab. "And what we've actually seen is detection has gotten a lot better."

Tech companies have gotten better at fighting bots. But trolls have become the new top nemesis of social media companies in the run-up to the 2020 election, according to interviews with cybersecurity experts. Twitter has clamped down on inauthentic behavior since 2016 and has been critical of bot detectors used to evaluate the platform's users.

"Overwhelmingly, we see much of the disinformation, vastly more of the disinformation, is produced by U.S. sources," said Timothy Frye, a Columbia University political science professor. "And what we see Russian sources doing is amplifying them."

Watch the video below to see how the war on troll farms and botnets started, and where it's headed.