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Jack Ma asks Zuckerberg to ‘fix’ Facebook

Globalisation has not been inclusive enough in the past decades, but there are ways to fix it, Ma said

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself. Pixabay
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Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “fix” the social networking giant that is mired in data breach controversy. Attending the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, which runs from April 8 to 11, Ma told delegates that Zuckerberg should “really take it seriously”.

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Facebook was accused of leaking data to Cambridge Analytica earlier this year.

“It is the time to fix it. It is the time for the CEO to really take it seriously. I think the problems will be solved,” Ma said. Zuckerberg told Congress in written testimony on Monday that he was “responsible for” not preventing the social media platform from being used for harm, including fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake,” Xinhua news agency quoted Zuckerburg as saying in a prepared testimony released by the US House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I’m responsible for what happens here,” he said in the remarks he is expected to deliver in a hearing on Wednesday.

His apology came after the social media giant found itself embroiled in a widening scandal that a British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed Facebook information on 87 million users, up from a previous estimate of more than 50 million.

Also Read: Facebook junks project to collect patients’ health data: Report

On US-China trade war, Ma said it was normal for the world’s two biggest economies to have problems with trade, but tackling them with a trade war is just like treating a flu with chemotherapies.

“You are not solving the problem of the cold, you are destroying the whole body, the whole system,” Ma made the comment while attending a dinner with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Ma said that trade is about mutual respect and that nobody can stop globalisation.

“Trade is about rules and negotiations. If trade stops, war starts,” he said. Speaking of the US-China trade deficit, Ma dismissed the issue as a problem, citing economic growth and a low jobless rate in the US as well as huge profit made by US firms in the bilateral trade.

“Today as a businessman, I don’t feel that trade deficit is a problem,” he said. For her part, Lagarde also warned of the risk of temptation for inward policies, protectionism and closing off to the outside world.

facebook
The social media app is in news for all the wrong reasons lately. VOA

She suggested reducing trade barriers in the service industry where there is “a big, big upside” in promoting openness. The executive also cautioned challenges to the global economy, including corporate debt and demographic change, saying that “the sun is shining, but we have to look at the cloud arising”.

Globalisation has not been inclusive enough in the past decades, but there are ways to fix it, Ma said. He also said the world is facing a lot of challenges from poverty, environment and technology, noting that innovation is the only way to solve these challenges and problems. IANS

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Teenage Girls Being Urged To Befriend ‘Middle-Aged Men’ On Facebook: Report

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity

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Fake News, Facebook, dating
This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

Facebook is encouraging grooming by offering teenage girls middle-aged men as ‘friend suggestions’, the media reported.

Teenage girls, as young as 13-year-olds, who join the social network are given up to 300 suggestions for who they can add as friends, some of which include middle-aged men who are topless in their profile photos, The Telegraph reported late on Saturday.

Facebook has said that was not a typical experience for teenagers for signing up for the service and that it has safeguards built into its recommendation system.

Following the findings, UK-based charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has called for friend recommendations to be suspended for children on the social networking giant’s platform.

Facebook, myanmar
A cellphone user looks at a Facebook page at a shop in Latha street, Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

‘Groomers are seeking to infiltrate children’s friendship groups on social networks, often with the intention to move children to live streaming or encrypted sites where it is easier for them to commit sexual abuse,” Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online, was quoted as saying.

“Social media algorithms risk making it easier for groomers to find and contact children and ‘friend of friend’ or ‘new follower’ recommendations can add legitimacy to their requests, which is why we are calling for these features to be blocked for children.

“For too long social networks have failed to make their platforms safe for children, and that is why the Home Secretary must commit to strong and effective regulation to finally ensure that children’s safety is non-negotiable,” she said.

According to Facebook, the company has safeguards to protect children. However, the campaigners warn that the networking giant must do more to stop groomers who use the site to become friendly with children.

facebook, U.S. Politicals ads, dating
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Grooming is incredibly serious, and we have teams specifically focused on keeping children safe, informed by extensive research and outside experts,” said a spokesman for Facebook, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“We use artificial intelligence to proactively identify cases of inappropriate interactions with minors and we refer potential abuse to law enforcement.

“We limit how children can be found in search, we remind them to only accept friend requests from people they know and we caution them before making public posts.”

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom To Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed machine learning software that automatically flagged such photos during the last quarter.

The company has said that it is also considering rolling out systems for spotting child nudity and grooming to Instagram. (IANS)