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Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Was 'Too Slow To Spot Russian Interference'


Zuckerberg will spend two days answering lawmakers' questions about the powerful social network he helped create more than a decade ago, and whether the company is doing enough to protect users' privacy.

"For conservatives like me", Eric Wilson, Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign digital director and founder of LearnTestOptimize.com, recently wrote in a Politico op-ed, "it's not easy to call for increased regulation and antitrust enforcement, but Facebook has shown time and again that its leaders, including Mark Zuckerberg himself, aren't capable of responsibly wielding their vast power and influence in Americans' lives". "It was my mistake, and I'm sorry", he wrote.

Facebook claimed it has made real progress since Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election in fighting fake news, as well as combating foreign interference, in elections in France, Germany, Alabama and Italy.

The company is facing the worst privacy crisis in its 14-year history after whistleblowers revealed that the personal information of tens of millions users, mainly in the U.S., was obtained by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was expected to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about other issues.

"It's just scary for us grandmothers raising grandkids and having all that kind of information out there on the grandkids and myself as well", said local Facebook user Mannie Walker.

"This is like spraying five gallons of water on a growing forest fire", says Daniel Ives, an analyst who tracks Facebook for GBH Insights.

"Not only did they fail to safeguard the personal information of millions of users, they concealed it from us? and this is not the first time the company mishandled user information".

Shares in Facebook are down more than 14 percent since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke last month.

Facebook, which has 2.1 billion monthly active users worldwide, said on Sunday it plans to begin on Monday telling users whose data may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica. It also suspended the Canadian firm AggregateIQ over apparent collaboration with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook is reeling in the aftermath of a pair of controversies.

The flurry of activity highlights Facebook's rush to get its house in order before Zuckerberg's high-stakes debut testifying on Capitol Hill this week. However, he makes sure to point out that Facebook enabled positive interactions around the elections as well.

It didn't take us long to find people who were concerned that they could be one of the millions whose personal information has now been shared with strangers.




He vowed to make improvements, adding it would take time, but said he was "committed to getting it right".

"My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together". "I have looked at thousands of posts containing ivory, and I am convinced that Facebook is literally facilitating the extinction of the elephant species".

"In consultation with the foundations funding the initiative, Facebook will invite respected academic experts to form a commission which will then develop a research agenda about the impact of social media on society - starting with elections", a company statement said.

Facebook has about 15,000 people working on security and content review, rising to more than 20,000 by the end of 2018, Zuckerberg's testimony said.

"The focus will be entirely forward looking".

Zuckerberg will provide testimony and address all matters related to the data incident.

Zuckerberg has already shown he's willing to apologize. It will feel cathartic, but thats not the problem.

Will Zuckerberg offer new estimates about abuses of personal information?

"Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company". Its a giant company with half-a-trillion dollars in market capitalisation.

Powerful lobbying forces assemble against any effort to convert public and political outrage into regulation, privacy advocates have said.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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