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Facebook May Soon Hire Journalists in Order to Tackle Fake News

Facebook could have a direct relationship with publishers in order to make sure that the content is really high-quality

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

In order to better tackle fake news and improve quality of content on its platform, Facebook might hire a new generation of digital-era journalists and news publishers.

In a discussion with Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Europe’s largest publisher Axel Springer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday talked over how the platform should create more high-quality news for its over 2 billion users globally.

“I don’t know how many fake accounts you think Facebook has, but it seems to be quite a big amount. Some people are saying 700 million. I have no clue, but that has to be dealt with as a very serious problem,” said the 34-year-old CEO.

“We have to make a business in order to finance investigative journalists and correspondents, and big foreign networks, they cannot afford to do that for free,” he added.

Zuckerberg said he would focus on making sure what makes the offering and it’s structuring on Facebook attractive for the hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers, digital native publishers, legacy publishers, that they are attracted to put their best content on that platform.

facebook, iphone, new york
FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

“We’re not going to have journalists making news. What we want to do is make sure that this is a product that can get people high-quality news,” said the Facebook co-founder.

Facebook could have a direct relationship with publishers in order to make sure that the content is really high-quality.

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“There’s a whole set of questions around how do we build a service that is contributing to high-quality journalism through increasing monitorisation,” said the American tech entrepreneur.

The Menlo Park-based online social media and social networking service company is battling the menace of fake news and misinformation on its platform, especially during election times, including in India where it has removed thousands of fake accounts, groups and pages linked with political parties. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)