Tags: Barack Obama | Zuckerberg | Facebook | Russia | Fake News

Obama Warned Zuckerberg of Fake News Proliferation on Facebook

Image: Obama Warned Zuckerberg of Fake News Proliferation on Facebook

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By    |   Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 10:14 PM

Former President Barack Obama pulled Mark Zuckerberg aside personally after the presidential election to push the Facebook founder to take fake news more seriously, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Zuckerberg dismissed the impact of “fake news” on the social media platform during and after the election, but Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru in November told him if he didn’t crack down on fake news it would only get worse in the next election.

Facebook has been in the spotlight for its handling of the misinformation.

In early September, the company said it sold about $100,000 in political ads to Russian-linked sources over the past two years, information it shared with authorities investigating Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. The ad sales were linked to a Russian “troll” farm known for spreading propaganda, and were, “connected to 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies,” Facebook said.

“There’s been a systematic failure of responsibility” on Facebook’s part, said Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an interest in social impacts of technology. “It’s rooted in their overconfidence that they know best, their naivete about how the world works, their extensive effort to avoid oversight, and their business model of having very few employees so that no one is minding the store.”

Fake news engagement on Facebook skyrocketed as the election got closer, according to a BuzzFeed report last year, with one of the biggest a story claiming Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton sold weapons to ISIS.

But Facebook says it's taking the claims seriously. 

“We believe in the power of democracy, which is why we’re taking this work on elections integrity so seriously, and have come forward at every opportunity to share what we’ve found,” said Elliot Schrage, vice president for public policy and communications. 

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Former President Barack Obama pulled Mark Zuckerberg aside personally after the presidential election to push the Facebook founder to take fake news more seriously, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
Barack Obama, Zuckerberg, Facebook, Russia, Fake News
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2017-14-24
Sunday, 24 Sep 2017 10:14 PM
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