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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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Facebook unveils new VR headset 'Oculus Quest'. Pixabay

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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AI Couldn’t Catch NZ Attack Video Streaming: Facebook

Facebook said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video

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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

Facing flak for failure to block the live broadcast of the New Zealand terrorist attack last week, Facebook on Thursday said that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools were not “perfect” to detect the horrific video.

Vowing to improve its technology, the social networking giant, however, ruled out adding a time delay to Facebook Live, similar to the broadcast delay sometimes used by TV stations.

“There are millions of Live broadcasts daily, which means a delay would not help address the problem due to the sheer number of videos,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, said in a statement.

“More importantly, given the importance of user reports, adding a delay would only further slow down videos getting reported, reviewed and first responders being alerted to provide help on the ground,” Rosen added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcast graphic footage of the New Zealand shooting via Facebook Live for 17 minutes, which was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Fifty people were killed and dozens injured in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The circulation of the video on social media platforms attracted widespread criticism from different quarters.

In a letter to CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson asked the technology companies to brief the US Congress on March 27 regarding their response to dissemination of the video on their platforms.

Thompson also warned the technology companies that unless they do better in removing violent content, the Congress could consider policies to bar such content on social media.

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Facebook on Thursday said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video.

“AI has made massive progress over the years and in many areas, which has enabled us to proactively detect the vast majority of the content we remove. But it’s not perfect.

“However, this particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems,” Rosen said, referring to the New Zealand attack video. (IANS)