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Facebook CEO Confident of Stopping People from Manipulating the 2020 US Presidential Elections

"We've learned a lot since 2016, where, obviously, we were behind where we needed to be on defenses for nation states trying to interfere," Mark Zuckerberg said in a "Good Morning America" interview

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2020, Facebook
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is confident the world’s biggest social network will do better in 2020 at stopping “bad actors” from manipulating the U.S. presidential election.

“We’ve learned a lot since 2016, where, obviously, we were behind where we needed to be on defenses for nation states trying to interfere,” he said in a “Good Morning America” interview released on Thursday. “These aren’t things that you ever fully solve, right?

They’re ongoing arms races, where we need to make sure that our systems stay ahead of the sophisticated bad actors, who are just always going to try to game them.” U.S. intelligence agencies say there was an extensive Russian cyber-influence operation during the 2016 campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump, a Republican, defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Zuckerberg said the social media giant had implemented a lot of different measures since 2016 to verify any advertiser who is running a political ad and create an archive so anyone could see what advertisers are running, who they are targeting and how much they are paying.

facebook, 2020
Zuckerberg said the social media giant had implemented a lot of different measures since 2016 to verify any advertiser who is running a political ad. VOA

Advertising practices at Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users and $56 billion in annual revenue, have been in the spotlight for two years amid growing discontent over its approach to privacy and user data.

ALSO READ: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Admits, Cannot Guarantee Interference-free European Parliament Elections

The company said in a congressional testimony last year that Russian agents created 129 events on the network during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, shedding more light on Russia’s purported disinformation drive aimed at voters.

“At this point, (we) have probably some of the most-advanced systems of any company or government in the world for preventing the kind of tactics that Russia and now other countries, as well, have tried,” Zuckerberg said.

Asked if he could guarantee that there would not be interference in the election, Zuckerberg said, “What I can guarantee is that they’re definitely going to try.” (VOA)

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Facebook ‘Unintentionally’ Uploaded Emails of Nearly 1.5 mn Users

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted

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

In a latest privacy goof up, Facebook “unintentionally” uploaded the emails of nearly 1.5 million of its users during the past three years.

A Facebook spokesperson admitted on late Wednesday that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

First reported by Business Insider, the revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”.

“Last month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time,” the Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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FILE – A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

“We’ve fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported,” Facebook said.

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted, reports CNET.

Also Read- Here’s Why TikTok Ban May Not Give the Desired Results

“People can also review and manage the contacts they share with Facebook in their settings,” said the company.

Facebook is facing the heat over several data scandals, including the massive Cambridge Analytica scandal where personal information of up to 87 million users was leaked. (IANS)