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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Needs More Time to Fix Issue of Fake News

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching

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As countries over the world including India face elections amid the spread of fake news and political interference on social media platforms, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked for some more time to fix his network that has over two billion users.

In a post on Friday, Zuckerberg said that Facebook started on the platform sanitising project in 2017 and “even this work will extend through 2019, I do expect us to end this year on a significantly better trajectory than when we entered it”.

“My personal challenge for 2018 has been to fix the most important issues facing Facebook — whether that’s defending against election interference by nation states, protecting our community from abuse and harm, or making sure people have control of their information,” the Facebook founder wrote.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

After his grilling in the US Congress in April over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, COO Sheryl Sandberg again testified at the US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on election security on September 5.

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Along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, she faced the committee which is probing the Russian interference from an angle to publicly hold Facebook and Twitter accountable for allowing Russian operatives on their platforms.

“I’m spending a lot of time on these issues, and as the year winds down I’m going to write a series of notes outlining how I’m thinking about them and the steps we’re taking to address them,” said Zuckerberg.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, May 23, 2018. VOA
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching.

“I’ll write about privacy, encryption and business models, and then about content governance and enforcement as well in the coming months,” he added. (IANS)

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Unable To Find The Source of Fake Accounts: Facebook

Sample images provided by Facebook showed posts on a wide range of issues.

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Lexi Sturdy, election war room lead, sits at her desk in the war room, where Facebook monitors election-related content on the platform, in Menlo Park, California. VOA

Facebook said Tuesday it had been unable to determine who was behind dozens of fake accounts it took down shortly before the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

“Combined with our takedown last Monday, in total we have removed 36 Facebook accounts, 6 Pages, and 99 Instagram accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy, wrote on the company’s blog.

At least one of the Instagram accounts had well over a million followers, according to Facebook.

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A man works in the war room, where Facebook monitors election-related content, in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

A website that said it represented the Russian state-sponsored Internet Research Agency claimed responsibility for the accounts last week, but Facebook said it did not have enough information to connect the agency that has been called a troll farm.

“As multiple independent experts have pointed out, trolls have an incentive to claim that their activities are more widespread and influential than may be the case,” Gleicher wrote.

Sample images provided by Facebook showed posts on a wide range of issues. Some advocated on behalf of social issues such as women’s rights and LGBT pride, while others appeared to be conservative users voicing support for President Donald Trump.

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The viewpoints on display potentially fall in line with a Russian tactic identified in other cases of falsified accounts. A recent analysis of millions of tweets by the Atlantic Council found that Russian trolls often pose as members on either side of contentious issues in order to maximize division in the United States. (VOA)