Mark Zuckerberg Tries Out Transparency as Yet Another Crisis Hits Facebook

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Mark Zuckerberg Tries Out Transparency as Yet Another Crisis Hits Facebook

One early reaction to the piece comes from Siva Vaidhyanathan at Slate: "Facebook is now just another normal sleazy American company run by normal sleazy executives, engaged in normal sleazy lobbying and corporate propaganda".

The Times, Facebook said, was "wrong to suggest that we ever asked Definers to pay for or write articles on Facebook's behalf - or to spread misinformation".

"As you know, there is a concerted right-wing effort the world over to demonize Mr. Soros and his foundations, which I lead-an effort which has contributed to death threats and the delivery of a pipe bomb to Mr. Soros' home".

The Times said Facebook had amassed evidence for over a year of Russian activity through an investigation led by its former security chief, Alex Stamos.

"As with numerous biggest challenges we face, there isn't broad agreement on the right approach, and thoughtful people come to very different conclusions on what are acceptable tradeoffs", Zuckerberg wrote.

The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Facebook a year ago hired a Republican opposition research firm, which claimed Soros helped fund anti-Facebook protesters.

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As news of Facebook's use of Definers reached Capitol Hill, one senator implied that Facebook's efforts to push back against critics may add to the company's woes.

In a post about the reports, the company said it didn't use Apple simply because it wasn't the biggest operating system out there and therefore the company "encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world".

When criticism of its belated Russian Federation admission grew, Facebook mounted a lobbying campaign led by Sandberg. Another was to depict the Facebook criticism as anti-Semitic. It also tapped its business relationships, persuading a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic. "Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros".

"I've come to believe that we shouldn't be making so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own", founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call Thursday.

"These efforts appear to have been part of a deliberate strategy to distract from the very real accountability problems your company continues to grapple with", wrote Patrick Gaspard, the president of the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organisation founded by Soros. The quotes arrived during Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, where the personal data of around 87 million Facebook users was alleged to have been improperly shared with the analytics company.

While it would be all too easy to take this as another instance of tech gossip exaggeration - something that tends to happen a lot in Silicon Valley - a statement released by Facebook today very bizarrely all but confirmed the Times' story.

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