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Didn’t do enough to prevent Facebook from being used to harm others: Zuckerberg

He said that he was committed to getting this right. He added the company was getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected

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News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook's recent announcement. VOA
News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook's recent announcement. VOA

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testifies before Congress fro the first time, he accepted that the company didn’t do enough to prevent the platform from being used to harm others.

In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg, said, “Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all of the good that connecting people can do. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools for being used as harm as well.”

“That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I’m sorry,” the 33-year-old executive said.

Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself: Jack Ma earlier this week. Pixabay

His apology came after Facebook is embroiled in a widening scandal that a British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed Facebook information on 87 million users, up from a previous estimate of more than 50 million.

“Now we have to go through our — all of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. It’s not enough to just connect people. We have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to give people a voice. We have to make sure people aren’t using it to harm people or spread disinformation,” he added.

He said that he was committed to getting this right. He added the company was getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected. “What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed information by buying it. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us they had deleted the data,” Zuckerberg cleared.

Zuckerberg needed to be present at the court for the hearing of data breach matter of Facebook.
Zuckerberg takes full responsibility.

He said that the company made big changes in the platform in 2014 that have prevented this specific situation with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again today.

“But there’s more to do. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together,” he said. IANS

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Allows Ads to Promote Anti-vaccine Content

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.”

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook has enabled advertisers to promote anti-vaccine content to nearly nine lakh people interested in “vaccine controversies”, the media reported.

The social networking giant is already facing pressure to stop promoting anti-vaccine propaganda to users amid global concern over vaccine hesitancy and a measles outbreak in the Pacific northwest.

Advertisers pay to reach groups of people on Facebook which include those interested in “Dr Tenpenny on Vaccines”, which refers to anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny, and “informed consent”, which is language that anti-vaccine propagandists have adopted to fight vaccination laws, The Guardian reported on Friday.

On Thursday, California congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, in letters to Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urged them to take more responsibility for health-related misinformation on their platforms.

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues,” Schiff wrote.

“I am concerned by the report that Facebook accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines,” he added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In 2017, ProPublica, a US-based non-profit organisation, revealed that the platform included targeting categories for people interested in a number of anti-Semitic phrases, such as “How to burn Jews” or “Jew hater”.

While the anti-Semitic categories found by ProPublica were automatically generated and were too small to run effective ad campaigns by themselves, the “vaccine controversies” category contains nearly nine lakh people, and “informed consent” from about 340,000. The Tenpenny category only includes 720 people, which is too few to run a campaign.

Facebook declined to comment on the ad targeting categories, but said it was looking into the issue, The Guardian reported.

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“We’ve taken steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation on Facebook, but we know we have more to do,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement responding to Schiff’s letter.

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.” (IANS)