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Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Publishes ads Containing Lies

The revelation led the Menlo Park, California-based firm to launch an investigation into how apps use the data of Facebook users, and this led to the suspension of thousands of apps that did not adhere to the firm's use rules

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FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Facebook  founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the social network’s policy of publishing campaign ads that contain false statements or lies and claimed that people will just have to live with it and decide for themselves what is true and what is not true.

In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington on Thursday, Zuckerberg admitted that he is concerned about the “erosion of truth” in society and online, but he rejected the idea that his firm and other tech companies should be the ones to decide whether info placed on the social networks is accurate or not, Efe news reported.

“I don’t think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100 percent true,” he said, adding that he does not believe that a “private company (should) censor politicians or the news in a democracy.”

It is the public who “should decide what is credible, not tech companies,” the Facebook CEO said.

He said that there were exceptions to that general rule, asserting that Facebook was not going to allow content to be posted that incites violence or poses an imminent risk of harm.

He said that people place ads on Facebook about many more things than elections, and that poses a challenge on where to draw the line at what is allowed.

“I believe that when it’s not absolutely clear what to do, we should err on the side of greater expression,” he said, going on to say that prohibiting election ads would favor incumbents or candidates seeking re-election.

“Do we ban ads about health care or immigration or women’s empowerment? And if you’re not going to ban those, does it really make sense to give everyone a voice in the political debates except for the candidates themselves?” asked Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Facebook CEO’s remarks come after Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted ads on the social network in which she incorrectly declared that Zuckerberg supports President Donald Trump’s re-election.

Warren, who admits that the claim made in the ads is not correct, has harshly criticized the monopoly held on the social networks by the big tech companies and called for their breakup.

In his speech, Zuckerberg said that if the government and online platforms jointly addressed issues like data privacy, data portability, content and elections critics would be less likely to try and break up big tech firms.

“If that at happens, I don’t think people will end up concluding that breaking up the companies is the right thing to do,” he said.

Also Read: Rs 199 India’s Mobile-only Plan a Great Success: Netflix

The biggest controversy Facebook has faced in recent years came in March 2018 when it became known that British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used an application to gather data on millions of Facebook users without their consent and then used that data for political ends.

The firm used the data to prepare psychological profiles of voters that it allegedly sold to the then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2016 election, among other things.

The revelation led the Menlo Park, California-based firm to launch an investigation into how apps use the data of Facebook users, and this led to the suspension of thousands of apps that did not adhere to the firm’s use rules. (IANS)

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Facebook, Sony Pulls Out Of Games Developer Conference Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Earlier this month, global telecom industry body GSMA cancelled the 2020 edition of the tech industry's biggest event -- MWC due to health safety concerns around novel coronavirus outbreak

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Facebook had already cancelled an event it had planned at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco a week back. Pixabay

 Big technology players such as Facebook and Sony have pulled out of the forthcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC) over concerns of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. This comes after coronavirus derailed the world’s biggest mobile exhibition — the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Just one day after announcing it wouldn’t be attending PAX East, Sony confirmed that it also won’t be attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this March in San Francisco also due to coronavirus concerns, Android Central reported on Thursday.

It is pertinent to note that Sony had cancelled plans for MWC as well and the novel coronavirus situation in China has caused a lot of distress across the tech industry.

Facebook had already cancelled an event it had planned at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco a week back.

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Big technology players such as Facebook and Sony have pulled out of the forthcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC) over concerns of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. This comes after coronavirus derailed the world’s biggest mobile exhibition — the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. VOA

Facebook, which owns VR company Oculus, also announced it won’t be attending GDC in either capacity. Chris Pruett, the director of content ecosystem at Oculus, said in a statement, “Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community as a whole, Facebook’s AR/VR and Gaming teams won’t be attending this year’s Game Developers Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19”, the report added.

ALSO READ: “Should Online Platforms Be Liable for User Posts?”, Asks U.S Attorney General William Barr

Earlier this month, global telecom industry body GSMA cancelled the 2020 edition of the tech industry’s biggest event — MWC due to health safety concerns around novel coronavirus outbreak. (IANS)