Zuckerberg says FB committed to ensure integrity of Indian polls

Zuckerberg says FB committed to ensure integrity of Indian polls

Washington, PTI: Facebook is committed to ensuring the integrity of elections in countries like India, Pakistan and the US, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.

The Facebook CEO made the statement while he was questioned for nearly five hours by US senators over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has shaken the social media giant.

Zuckerberg's first day of testimony came after it was recently revealed that the British marketing firm Cambridge Analytica tied to US President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign improperly collected profile data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

The scandal shook confidence in Facebook, leading some people to go as far as abandoning the social media site altogether through a revolt called #DeleteFacebook.

Zuckerberg, 33, who is also the founder of Facebook, said data privacy and foreign interference in elections were topics that they have discussed at the Facebook board meeting.

"These are some of the biggest issues that the company has faced, and we feel a huge responsibility to get these right," he told lawmakers, adding that "this is one of my top priorities in 2018".

He said Facebook was taking steps to ensure the integrity of elections in countries like the US, India, Brazil and Pakistan.

"2018 is is an incredibly important year for elections. Not just in the US mid-terms, but, around the world, there are important elections - in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and Hungary - and we want to make sure we do everything we can to protect the integrity of these elections," he said.

Zuckerberg admitted that his organisation faces charges of failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica from gathering personal information of Facebook users to try to influence an election.

Zuckerberg said after the US 2016 election, Facebook's top priority was to protect the integrity of other elections around the world.

"What we're going to do is to ask a valid government identification and we're going to verify the location. We are going to do that so that someone sitting in Russia, for example, couldn't say that they're in America and, therefore, able to run an election advertisement," he said.

Zuckerberg said one of his greatest regrets was that Facebook has been slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016.

"We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyber attacks, which we did identify and notify the campaigns that they were trying to hack into them," he said.

 

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