US lawmakers have sharply criticized Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg about the firm’s policy not to fact check political ads. In a hearing in Washington, the social network chief was accused of letting political disinformation spread ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. He also was unable to confirm if hate speech from candidates running for office would be taken off the platform.
Australians scrolling Facebook today will find something missing: the number of times the “like” button has been tapped on a post. The social media company will hide the statistic here as part of a new test aimed at improving how users feel when they use the platform. It’s a significant shakeup for the social media giant, which made the “thumbs up” button a globally recognized symbol of online approval and popularity.
Facebook is launching a long-promised tool that lets you limit what the social network can gather about you on outside websites and apps. The company said Tuesday that it is adding a section where you can see the activity that Facebook tracks outside its service via its “like” buttons and other means. You can choose to turn off the tracking; otherwise, tracking will continue the same way it has been.
Facebook Inc. has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services, according to people with knowledge of the work. They’re hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed, the people said. Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies.
Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it was tightening rules around its livestreaming feature ahead of a meeting of world leaders aimed at curbing online violence in the aftermath of a massacre in New Zealand. A lone gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch on March 15 while livestreaming the attacks on Facebook. Facebook said in a statement it was introducing a “one-strike” policy for use of Facebook Live, temporarily restricting access for people who have faced disciplinary action for breaking the company’s most serious rules anywhere on its site.
Mark Zuckerberg faced difficult questions from EU political leaders in a hearing on Tuesday for Facebook’s recent privacy mishaps. European lawmakers suggested a split from Facebook and complained that Zuckerberg repeated his previous statements, evading specific questions. Zuckerberg began the meeting by apologizing to the European Parliament for Facebook’s role in the spreading of misinformation.
Despite experiencing a major crisis and investigation into its privacy policies, Facebook’s net profit has reached an all-time high of $4.9 billion. The company’s first quarter saw a 63% increase in profit and 49% increase in revenue resulting from mobile advertising growth. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is ‘off to a strong start in 2018.’
Formal investigation into Facebook’s involvement in mishandling user information is being opened by the Federal Trade Commission, with American and European politicians calling on Mark Zuckerberg to testify. The FTC investigation comes from the fallout of Cambridge Analytica’s controversial Trump campaign data access tactics and has caused Facebook’s value to be cut by $50 billion.
Facebook is expecting to pay as much as $5bn to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it revealed in first quarter financial reports, which otherwise showed continued revenue growth to more than $15bn for the first three months of the year. Facebook recorded a $3bn legal expense “in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices”, the company said. The expenses result in a 51% year-over-year decline in net income, to just $2.4bn.