Mark Zuckerberg

Technology • Internet & Web
Mark Zuckerberg says Kenosha Guard rulings were ‘an operational mistake’
Mark Zuckerberg says Kenosha Guard rulings were ‘an operational mistake’
Credit: Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a companywide meeting on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg addressed the recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, both in a seven-minute public address and in a heated series of questions from employees.

In the wake of the shooting, Facebook has been criticized for allowing self-proclaimed militia groups to organize on the platform, including a group called the Kenosha Guard, which had solicited armed attendees for an event on the night of the protest. Several Facebook users reported the event as likely to result in violence in the hours before the shooting, only to be told by Facebook moderators that the group and event were not violating Facebook policy.

“It was largely an operational mistake,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s because the team that enforces our policy against dangerous organizations is a specialized team that is trained to look for symbolism and innuendo ... and understand the details of how certain militias and conspiracy networks operate. The contractors and reviewers who the initial complaints were funneled to didn’t pick this up. On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”

Regional News • Americas • United States
US House Antitrust Subcommittee will question tech CEOs over dominance of online platform
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The chief executives Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google) will be questioned today by the United States House Antitrust Subcommittee that currently investigates the into market dominance of online platforms.

Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the subcommittee has stated that "these platforms have been allowed to run wild and free from really any constraints" adding that the committee has to clarify "what the impacts are of the lack of competition in the digital marketplace".

Technology • Internet & Web
Civil Rights Groups disappointed with Facebook meeting over ad boycott
Civil Rights Groups disappointed with Facebook meeting over ad boycott
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Facebook

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of companies and brands have joined the Facebook ad boycott #StopHateForProfit. On Tuesday, civil rights groups met virtually with Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the platform's handling of hate speech. Among the groups attending where the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change.

Leaders of the civil rights groups have stated that the meeting was "very disappointing," with the head of Color of Change, Rashad Robinson saying: "They showed up to the meeting expecting an A for attendance. Attending alone is not enough."

Facebook issued a statement, promising to take steps to "keep hate off of our platform" and that they were aware that they would be "judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement."

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook to add labels to "problematic content" from public figures
Facebook to add labels to "problematic content" from public figures
Credit: unsplash.com/Alex Haney

Facebook will start to add labels to posts from public figures if the content is violating the platform's policies but won't remove posts as they might be deemed "newsworthy". This move comes weeks after Zuckerberg criticised Twitter for adding labels to policy-violating tweets of politicians and other public figures. In response to Facebook's inaction on hate speech, many high-profile advertisers started boycotting the social network and pulling their ads.

In a post to his Facebook account, Mark Zuckerberg announced the policy change, stating: "We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case. We'll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what's acceptable in our society -- but we'll add a prompt to tell people that the content they're sharing may violate our policies."

Technology • Internet & Web
Over 210 researchers urge Zuckerberg to fight misinformation spread by Trump
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, over 210 scientists, around 10% of whom are employed by foundations that are run by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, have urged the Facebook CEO to "consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people or groups of people, especially in our current climate that is grappling with racial injustice". In the letter, the scientists specifically call out postings of Donald Trump that should be subject to Facebooks own community standards.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook employees voice criticism towards Zuckerberg's decision to not fact check posts

After Twitter attached a warning label to one of the tweets of US President Donald Trump, the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook wouldn't take any action and said the post in which Trump said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" is compliant with the rules of the platform regarding incitement of violence. Since then a number of employees have voice their disagreement with that decision. Lauren Tan, a software engineer at the company stated that "Facebook's inaction in taking down Trump's post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here" and other employees questioned the moral standpoints of the company.

Technology • Internet & Web
Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Twitter for new fact-checking feature
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC (Public Domain)

In an interview with Fox News, Mark Zuckerberg criticised Twitter for its new fact-checking feature, stating “private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that". He furthermore added that he believes that "Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online".

In a serious of tweets, Twitter's Jack Dorsey responded to Zuckerberg, writing: "We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. [...] This does not make us an “arbiter of truth.” Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."

Business • Economy
Facebook announces permanent remote work option for employees
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

During a live-streamed talk, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company will allow permanent remote work for many of its existing 45,000 employees and "aggressively open up" remote hiring..

Zuckerberg expects that about 50% of Facebook's workforce will work remotely within the next five to 10 years.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook launchs Message Rooms with support to up to 50 people on video chats
Rendering of Message Rooms on mobile devices
Rendering of Message Rooms on mobile devices Credit: Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Messenger Rooms, a tool for starting virtual hangouts with up to 50 people, without the need for users to have a Facebook account.

The account-free nature of Messenger Rooms would appear to be a direct response to Zoom, which has exploded to 300 million daily active users during the pandemic. Other video chat platforms like Skype have followed in Zoom’s footsteps, dropping account sign-up requirements and expanding the number of supported users.