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India visit on Jobs’ advice saved Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg

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By NewsGram staff writer

New Delhi: At an event on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg told stories of their life which inspired them to become what they are today.

“India is personally very important to the history of our company,” Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s headquarters in California. He said when he was considering whether to sell the company or not, Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs suggested to visit a temple in India “in order to reconnect with what I believed was the mission of the company”.

Zuckerberg did not mention the name of the temple but said Steve visited the same when he was planning the future of Apple.

“And so I went and I traveled for almost a month,” said Zuckerberg. “Seeing the people, seeing how people connected, having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone had a stronger ability to connect reinforced for me the importance of what we were doing and that is something that I have always remembered over the last 10 years as we have built Facebook.”

Modi said in response, “I think people all across the world will be pretty surprised to hear what you said today Mark and I hope that the inspiration you got and the inspiration that helped you to start what you started.”

“You did ask the question why there is a lot of optimism when people talk about India and what do I think about that. When you went to India you visited a temple with a lot of hopes, and look to where you have reached.”

“I hope that will not just be something to enhance your company’s bank balance I hope that you will be the voice of millions and billions of people all over the world,” Modi added.

Zuckerberg asked Modi to talk about his mother. While doing so with all honesty and sincerity, he came close to tears.

“When we were small, what we used to do to get by,” Modi said, before a long pause, “We used to go to our neighbors’ houses nearby, we used to clean the dishes, fill water.”

With chocking voice, he added, “So you can imagine what a mother had to do, what a mother had to do to raise her children, what she must have gone through.”

In India, he said, this sacrifice is done by thousands of mothers and it is their hallmark.

“It is not what you become that a mother is going to want or wish for, it’s how you become that,” Modi said. Concluding his Q&A event he said, “Thank you ma.”

After the event, Zuckerberg posted on his official Facebook page describing childhood’s stories of Modi and his mother’s impact on his life as “deeply moving and inspiring” and “the most amazing moment”.

 

(With quotes from The Wall Street Journal)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Allows Ads to Promote Anti-vaccine Content

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.”

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Facebook, photos
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

Facebook has enabled advertisers to promote anti-vaccine content to nearly nine lakh people interested in “vaccine controversies”, the media reported.

The social networking giant is already facing pressure to stop promoting anti-vaccine propaganda to users amid global concern over vaccine hesitancy and a measles outbreak in the Pacific northwest.

Advertisers pay to reach groups of people on Facebook which include those interested in “Dr Tenpenny on Vaccines”, which refers to anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny, and “informed consent”, which is language that anti-vaccine propagandists have adopted to fight vaccination laws, The Guardian reported on Friday.

On Thursday, California congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, in letters to Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urged them to take more responsibility for health-related misinformation on their platforms.

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues,” Schiff wrote.

“I am concerned by the report that Facebook accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines,” he added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In 2017, ProPublica, a US-based non-profit organisation, revealed that the platform included targeting categories for people interested in a number of anti-Semitic phrases, such as “How to burn Jews” or “Jew hater”.

While the anti-Semitic categories found by ProPublica were automatically generated and were too small to run effective ad campaigns by themselves, the “vaccine controversies” category contains nearly nine lakh people, and “informed consent” from about 340,000. The Tenpenny category only includes 720 people, which is too few to run a campaign.

Facebook declined to comment on the ad targeting categories, but said it was looking into the issue, The Guardian reported.

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“We’ve taken steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation on Facebook, but we know we have more to do,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement responding to Schiff’s letter.

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.” (IANS)