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EU Ruling set a ‘Very Troubling Precedent’, Says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The ruling said that EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

With the European Union’s top court ruling that Facebook may be ordered to remove illegal content globally, the social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the judgement set a “very troubling precedent”.

“This is going to be something that I would imagine we and other services will be litigating and basically trying to get to clarity on what this means over a long period of time,” he said on Thursday at an internal Q&A session with employees.

In a rare move, Zuckerberg live streamed the internal Q&A to the public. The decision to make the discussion public came after The Verge a few days ago published details of Zuckerberg answering queries of employees at two town hall meetings in July.

The ruling of the European Court of Justice on Thursday may have significant implications in expanding content takedowns from social media platforms.

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FILE – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

The ruling came after a former Austrian politician sought an order to make Facebook remove a comment published by a user on that social network harmful to her reputation.

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Mme Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, who was a leader of Austria’s Greens Party, wanted Facebook to block access to the content globally.

The ruling said that EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal. (IANS)

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Private Firms Shouldn’t Censor Politicians, News: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump's campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform

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FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Defending Facebook’s policy of not removing political advertisements containing false information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that a private company should not be censoring politicians and news.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, Zuckerberg said “people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians”.

The policy has faced criticism from several quarters due to concerns that ads containing false information may spread misinformation and distort elections.

“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments,” the Facebook CEO was quoted as saying.

While demands for reconsidering the policy emanated even from within the organisation, Zuckerberg did not commit to any changes.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Twitter has banned all political ads, Google last month announced new restrictions on such ads.

The Internet search giant put new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

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The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform. (IANS)