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Zuckerberg Hits Out At Twitter As Trump Plans To Retaliate Against Social Media Companies

File photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

File photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that social media companies should avoid policing content on their platforms.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:38 AM IST

Criticising Twitter for flagging tweets by US President Donald Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that social media companies should not be the arbiter of truth. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened Twitter with “big action” for tagging two of his tweets on mail-in voting with a fact-checking warning label. In an interview with Fox News, Zuckerberg called out his social media rival, saying Twitter should not be fact-checking Trump. “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he told the interviewer.

“We have a different policy than Twitter on this. Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that,” he added. Zuckerberg also said Trump should not retaliate against social media companies.

“In general, I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they’re worried about censorship doesn’t exactly strike me as the right reflex,” said the Facebook CEO. After Twitter flagged his tweets for fact check, Trump threatened to “strongly regulate” or close down social media companies that attempt to “silence conservative voices”.

Meanwhile, The Verge reported that The White House set its sights on a single Twitter employee after the company attached a fact-checking link to the president’s tweets “containing lies and misinformation related to voter fraud”. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway targeted Twitter’s head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, on Fox News after finding some tweets that were critical of Trump and the US administration.

“Somebody in San Francisco goes wake him up and tell him he’s about to get a lot more followers,” Conway was quoted as saying. Trump supporters shared screenshots of some Roth tweets on social media, slamming him. Twitter said: “No one person at Twitter is responsible for our policies or enforcement actions, and it’s unfortunate to see individual employees targeted for company decisions”. It was the first time Twitter fact-checked Trump’s tweets.

“Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct. Big action to follow!” Trump tweeted. Before threatening the microblogging platform, Trump also accused Twitter of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election”. “They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post,” he said.




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Mark Zuckerberg is Worried About China’s Influence on The Internet; Many Would Agree With Him

Mark Zuckerberg is Worried About China’s Influence on The Internet; Many Would Agree With Him

Zuckerberg said that the 2018 overhaul of the privacy policy in the EU also meant Facebook had to reform its approach to data privacy around the world.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 9:24 AM IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is worried about the influence China is having in terms of regulating the internet and fears other countries might follow a similar example. In fact, he has urged western countries to counter China’s model with a democratic approach. He says the Chinese approach is “really dangerous”. China’s censorship of content on the internet and the fact that many global tech platforms are banned in the country, including Facebook, is often referred to as ‘The Great Firewall’.

“What I worry about is, right now I think there are emerging two very different frameworks underpinned by very different sets of values,” Zuckerberg said in a livestreamed discussion with EU official Thierry Breton. This is not the first time Zuckerberg has warned about the Chinese influence and the Chinese way of regulating the internet. He said it is the responsibility of the western countries to have a clear data privacy framework in place.

Zuckerberg in fact praised the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which implemented changes for how tech companies and social media platforms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter collect and handle user data in the EU region. He also said that the 2018 overhaul of the privacy policy in the EU also meant Facebook had to reform its approach to data privacy around the world.

In October last year, Zuckerberg had not held back in criticizing TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. While speaking at the Georgetown University on free speech, he had criticized TikTok for what he called “mentions of these protests are censored, even in the U.S.” referring to the censorship around the anti-China or pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “Just to be blunt about it, I think there is a model coming out of countries like China that tend to have very different values than Western countries that are more democratic,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook only recently got a 20-member oversight board which has the power to correct or overrule the social media platform’s content moderation policies, including instances of hate speech and misinformation, if it feels the need to do so. The board will start hearing cases later this summer.




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Facebook Not Sharing User Data with US Govt: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

(Image: Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

(Image: Reuters)

Reports had earlier stated that the US government and CDC were tapping tech companies like Facebook for users’ location data.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: March 19, 2020, 2:24 PM IST
  • Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied reports that the social networking giant is talking to the US government to share users’ location data from their smartphones. NBC News and The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tapping tech companies like Facebook for users’ location data.

In a press call on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the reports were “largely overstated”, denying that the company was in discussions to give the US government any location data reports CNET. “We’re not aware of any active conversations or asks with the US or other governments at this point asking for access to that data specifically,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook had a Disease Prevention Map programme for almost a year, which is provided to health organisations around the world using location data from people who opt-in. “I don’t think it would make sense to share people’s data in a way where they didn’t have the opportunity to opt in to do that,” said Zuckerberg. “We’re exploring ways that aggregated anonymized location information could help in the fight against COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

Google confirmed to CNN that it is also exploring ways to use aggregated, anonymized data to help in the coronavirus effort. Apple said it has not been a part of the location data discussions with the US government. The Trump administration is not the only country to consider technology-based tracking. Israel this week passed a proposal to track coronavirus patients on a far more detailed level, using location tools meant for counterterrorism purposes.