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Facebook Still Evasive Over Cambridge Analytica And Fake News: UK Lawmakers

Collins says the committee will continue to push Facebook 'until the public get the answers they deserve

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Before its collapse, Cambridge Analytica insisted it had indeed wiped the data after Facebook's erasure request in December 2015. Pixabay
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Facebook’s response to questions about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of its data continues to “display a pattern of evasive behaviour”, according to the chair of a British parliamentary committee.

“Facebook continues to display a pattern of evasive behaviour — a pattern which has emerged over the course of our inquiry. “In some cases, these answers even show inconsistencies in their evidence to us,” Damian Collins, chair of a British parliamentary committee was quoted as saying by CNET late Friday.

Collins has outlined a number of areas where Facebook’s answers have been lacking, including refusing accountability for fraudulent ads on the site, not sharing country-by-country revenues, digital political advertising and refusal to share how many resources are being devoted to security.

“Collins says the committee will continue to push Facebook ‘until the public get the answers they deserve’.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

“The MP has been fighting to have Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg face his committee and is looking into issuing a formal summons that would legally compel him to do so,” the report added.

This comes a day after a security researcher revealed that a german personality quiz app was exposing the private data of about 120 million Facebook users it had amassed to third-parties online since 2016.

The company behind “NameTests”, a German app maker Social Sweethearts, created popular social quizzes like “Which Disney Princess Are You?” and distributed them on the social networking site.

Also Read: Google, Facebook Have Been Using “Dark Patterns”: Report

Facebook was hit by a major data scandal in March after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 87 million Facebook users without permission to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Appearing before the US Congress, the company CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the lawmakers that his own personal data was part of the users’ data that was “improperly shared” with the British political consultancy firm. (IANS)

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Facebook will not Remove Fake News – but will ‘Demote’ it

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had "entrenched deeply held beliefs

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The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.
The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem. Pixabay

Facebook has said that it will not remove fake news from its platform because it does not violate its community standards. Instead, it says posts that it deems to be fake news will be “demoted” in the news feed.

The social network is currently running an advertising campaign in Britain that declares “fake news is not our friend”. But it said publishers often had “very different points of view” and removing fabricated posts would be “contrary to the basic principles of free speech”, the BBC reported on Friday.

Facebook has been scrutinized for its role in spreading fake news after evidence emerged that Russia tried to influence US voters using the social network.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.

“We created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice,” John Hegeman from Facebook said while responding to CNN.

Also Read: Facebook Labels Russian Users as ‘Interested in Treason’

“We allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed,” a Facebook spokeswoman told CNN.

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had “entrenched deeply held beliefs”. (IANS)