Digital Transformation

Mark Zuckerberg seeks to draw a line under US election meddling with new Facebook transparency pledge

By John Glenday | Reporter

September 22, 2017 | 3 min read

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has outlined in a live address to employees in which he followed up measures to curb hate speech ad targetting, what actions the social media firm will take to "protect election integrity and make sure that Facebook is a force for good in democracy.”

Under scrutiny like never before amidst revelations that it accepted $100k in ads purchased by Russians operations during the presidential election Zuckerberg pledged to hand-over 3,000 suspected Russian-linked ads to Congress, saying: “We are committed to rising to the occasion. Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We will continue working with the government to understand the full extent of Russian interference.”

Zuckerberg’s latest pronouncement shows a change in gear since the elections immediate aftermath, when he dismissed talk of viral ‘fake news’ stories on his platform as influencing the result as ‘crazy’ – arguing that Trump critics lacked ‘empathy’ with his supporters.

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Mark Zuckerberg seeks to draw a line under US election meddling with live address

In light of the gravity with which the current situation is being treated by US officials; including Federal Election Commission member Ellen Weintraub who called disclaimer rules for political advertisements to be beefed up, Zuckerberg pre-empted additional regulation from US lawmakers by adding: “… we're going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see the ads they're currently running to any audience on Facebook.”

Zuckerberg concluded his pitch by asking other technology firms to collaborate in order to safeguard future elections from outside meddling, mindful perhaps of his own possible future ambitions for public office.

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