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Social Media Giant Facebook Under Lens for ‘Covering up’ Data Scandal

In the UK, the company was fined 500,000 pounds - the maximum fine the British data regulator can impose - over the Cambridge Analytica scandal

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

Federal prosecutors in the US are now probing whether top executives of Facebook, mired in data breaches, were aware of data harvesting by the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

According to a report in The Guardian on Sunday, federal prosecutors’ investigation claims that the social media giant has “covered up” the extent of its relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

“The Observer has also learned of claims that a meeting was hosted at the office of Facebook board member and confidant of its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, in the summer of 2016 just as the data firm started working for the Trump campaign,” said the report.

Facebook has been denying for long that it was aware of data harvesting of nearly 87 million users by the British political consultancy firm, who were targeted with political bias via Facebook posts in the 2016 US Presidential election.

A Facebook spokesperson told The New York Times: “We are co-operating with investigators and take these probes seriously.”

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

In December 2018, Washington DC’s top prosecutor sued Facebook in a first significant move to punish the firm for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed the lawsuit that accused Facebook of allowing wholesale scraping of personal data on tens of millions of users.

Also Read- Apple Launches iPad Air, Mini with Keyboard Support for the First Time

Facebook is also being probed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.

In the UK, the company was fined 500,000 pounds – the maximum fine the British data regulator can impose – over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. (IANS)

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Facebook Still Hosting NZ Shooting Footage: Report

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature

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

Despite Facebook’s claim that the livestreaming video of the March 15 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people was removed from its platforms, sections of the raw footage are still available for users to watch, the media reported.

According to a report in Motherboard on Friday, certain videos on Facebook and Instagram show sections of the raw attack footage.

“The world’s biggest and most well-resourced social media network is still hosting copies of the violent attack video on its own platform as well as Instagram,” the report claimed.

Some of the videos are slices of the original 17-minute clip — trimmed down to one minute or so — and are open to be viewed by anyone.

In one instance, instead of removing the video, which shows the terrorist shooting and murdering innocent civilians from a first-person perspective, Facebook has simply marked the clip as potentially containing “violent or graphic content”.

One of the clips shows the terrorist walking up to the first mosque he targeted, and opening fire. The video does not show the full attack, and stops at the 01:15 mark.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

A Facebook spokesperson, however, said “the video did violate our policies and has been removed”.

The Facebook livestreaming of the New Zealand terror attack sparked global outrage. The video was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

The video was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Also Read- Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature.

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner John Edwards labelled Facebook as “morally bankrupt pathological liars” after the social media platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to play down the Facebook livestreaming of Christchurch shooting. (IANS)