Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview for CNN said they have found many profiles coming from Macedonia spreading fake news, saying he is prepared to testify before Congress for the abuse of personal data of millions of users.
“In 2017, during the special election, the senate seat in Alabama, we deployed some new AI tools that we built to detect fake accounts that were trying to spread false news and we found a lot of different accounts coming from Macedonia. So, I think the reality here is that this isn’t rocket science. Right? And there’s a lot of hard work that we need to do to make it harder for nation-states like Russia to do election interference, to make it so that trolls and other folks can’t spread fake news, but we can get in front of this,” says Zuckerberg.
He expressed regret over the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, which accessed information from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after Facebook told the company to delete it.
“So this was a major breach of trust and I’m really sorry that this happened. You know we have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data and if we can’t do that then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. And there are a few basic things that I think we need to do to ensure that,” says Zuckerberg.
According to him, Facebook was not as on top of a number of issues as it should have in 2016, whether it was Russian interference or fake news.
“But what we have seen since then is, a number of months later there was a major French election, and there we deployed some AI tools that did a much better job of identifying Russian bots and basically Russian potential interference and weeding that out of the platform ahead of the election. And we were much happier with how that went. And we have a responsibility to do this, not only for the 2018 midterms in the U.S., which are going to be a huge deal this year and that’s just a huge focus for us but there’s a big election in India this year, there’s a big election in Brazil, there are big elections around the world, and you can bet that we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured,” stressed Zuckerberg.
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