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

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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.

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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)

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Reaches Out to Microsoft President For Help

A recent CNBC report claimed that Facebook employees were contacting former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

Embroiled in massive data scandals amid losing stock and market cap, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly spoken to Microsoft President Brad Smith exploring the possibility of him joining the social networking platform and bring it back to glory.

According to a report in The Information on Monday, Zuckerberg spoke directly to Smith on how to build trust at Facebook.

“While the conversation didn’t involve a formal job offer, Mr. Smith still felt compelled to let Mr. Zuckerberg know he was happy at Microsoft and had no desire to leave,” the report said, quoting a person familiar with the talks.

According to the report, Mark Zuckerberg usually seeks advice from billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Another report from Wall Street Journal claimed last month that Gates suggested to Zuckerberg that Facebook consider hiring someone with a profile like that of Smith who can tackle regulators and lawmakers around the world — gunning for Facebook over frequent users’ data breaches and a recent expose of internal emails.

Facebook and Microsoft were yet to comment on the reports.

A New York Times investigation last month suggested that the social network under Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.

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Facebook CEO reaches out to Microsoft President for help: Report. Flickr

Reacting to the report, Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg denied they had any prior knowledge about this firm.

Later, Facebook’s outgoing Head of Communications and Policy Elliot Schrage took the full responsibility for hiring the political consulting and PR firm Definers Public Affairs.

Facebook has also lost the tag of best place to work in the US.

According to the leading job website Glassdoor’s annual “100 Best Places to Work in the US” list, Facebook is now ranked No 7 — scoring 4.5 out of a perfect 5.

Also Read- Actress Katrina Kaif Feels Herself Fortunate For Everything She Has Gone Through

The Glassdoor list came at a time when media reports said several Facebook employees are looking for better opportunities as scrutiny of the company’s conduct rises following several cases of data leak and as its stock price takes a beating.

A recent CNBC report claimed that Facebook employees were contacting former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company. (IANS)