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Mark Zuckerberg Has No Plan To Step Down

In the interview, Zuckerberg said there's no doubt that "we missed something really important" when it came to the Russian interference during the 2016 US election

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Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg

Despite mounting pressure from investors to step down as Facebook chairman as the social media firm faces intense scrutiny on data scandals, Mark Zuckerberg has said he has no plans to retire.

In an interview with CNN late on Tuesday, he said this was not the time for him to quit as Facebook shares ended at $132.43 — down 40 per cent from its peak in July.

“That’s not the plan. I’m not going to be doing this forever, but I’m not currently thinking that makes sense,” said the Facebook CEO.

The interview came after the New York Times reported how Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg “ignored warning signs” of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm to “dig up dirt” on competitors.

“I do run the company. I am responsible for everything that happens here. I don’t think this point was about a specific PR firm; it’s about how we act,” Mark Zuckerberg said during the interview.

The Times report also suggested that Facebook knew about Russian influence activities on its platform as early as spring 2016.

Facebook hired a firm called Definers Public Affairs to retaliate against or spread inflammatory information about its critics.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing Head of Public Policy, has reportedly taken the blame for hiring the Definers.

In a bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, facebook has also begun labelling all political and issue ads in the us -- including a "paid for by" disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement.
I have no plan to step down: Zuckerberg.

According to a memo with TechCrunch, Schrage admitted having the company push negative narratives about competitors but denies asking or paying Definers to publish fake news.

Facebook didn’t confirm the memo.

In the interview, Zuckerberg said there’s no doubt that “we missed something really important” when it came to the Russian interference during the 2016 US election.

“It was not something we were expecting. I wish we understood it before 2016, before the Russians tried to do these information operations in the first place,” he added.

Last week, Facebook investors increased pressure on Zuckerberg to step down as Chairman.

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According to a report in The Guardian, Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President at Trillium Asset Management which owns a substantial stake in Facebook, “called on Zuckerberg to step down as board chairman in the wake of the report”.

“Facebook is behaving like it’s a special snowflake. It’s not. It is a company and companies need to have a separation of chair and CEO,” Kron was quoted as saying.

Another Facebook investor Natasha Lamb from Arjuna Capital said the combined role of chairman and chief executive means that “Facebook can avoid properly fixing problems inside the company. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Interested in Blockchain-based Authentication, Says Mark Zuckerberg

According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

You may soon login to Facebook with Blockchain-based authentication, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain late on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

“I’m thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services,” Mark Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

According to him, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps.

Facebook last year promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its recently launched Blockchain division.

Earlier in May, Facebook set up a group within the company to explore Blockchain technology and its potential use for the platform, headed by Messenger chief David Marcus.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Media reports also said Facebook was exploring to develop its own cryptocurrency.

Facebook has over 2.3 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology”.

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According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change.

“You basically take your information, you store it on some decentralised system and you have the choice of whether to log in different places and you’re not going through an intermediary. There’s a lot of things that I think would be quite attractive about that,” said Mark Zuckerberg. (IANS)