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Zuckerberg to Speak as More Controversy Hits Facebook

Image: Zuckerberg to Speak as More Controversy Hits Facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

By    |   Monday, 17 Apr 2017 10:54 AM

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is set to give his most important speech of the year on Tuesday as controversy continues to plague the social network he founded.

Zuckerberg will address F8, Facebook's annual developer conference, CNET reported. The website's Richard Nieva calls it the "biggest speech he delivers each year" and notes it is "essentially the social network's State of the Union address."

Nieva calls the last 12 months "arguably the most significant year in the social network's history."

"Zuckerberg was hammered over everything from violence and death livestreamed on the site to charges of perpetuating 'filter bubbles' that warp the outlook of Facebook's nearly 2 billion users by force-feeding us only news that aligns with our personal views."

His speech comes while Cleveland police search for Steve Stephens, who authorities allege murdered 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. and broadcast it on Facebook, Fox News reported.

Video of the killing was posted Sunday afternoon for about three hours before it was taken down, the news network reported.

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," a spokesperson for the social media giant said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."

Wired reported that Facebook, which does not want to be accused of violating speech rights, has in the past resisted calls to use it algorithms to censor videos like this.

But Emily Dreyfuss writing for Wired noted: "And when the manhunt is over, and the grieving begins, so too will Facebook's soul-searching."

And Nieva added: "Taken together, the black eyes Facebook endured this year amount to the company having to take an existential look in the mirror and grapple with its scale and influence."

Meanwhile, Tech Crunch reported the social network's Live feature has also been used to broadcast other acts of violence, including the shooting of a toddler, torture of a teenager with special needs and sexual assaults.

It noted questions have been raised about whether people who watch crimes live, but do not report them, can be charged with a crime, the website reported.

Facebook has also faced "stinging criticism" over false news reporting on the social network site during the presidential election in 2016, The Washington Post reported.

The company has introduced a tool for users, advising them how to vet information they read and identify false articles, the newspaper noted.

"They're at the point where they're such a big deal — in the universe and to us — that we notice when they screw up," says Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "Their ambition has highlighted their shortcomings."

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is set to give his most important speech of the year on Tuesday as controversy continues to plague the social network he founded.
zuckerberg, facebook, live, speak, cleveland, f8 conference
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Monday, 17 Apr 2017 10:54 AM
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