Facebook To Launch Independent Body For Calls On Content

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly asked if Facebook could ban Trump. Reuters

It said its article was based on interviews with more than 50 people, including current and ex-Facebook executives and other employees, lawmakers and government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members.

Facebook issued its report a day after a bombshell report in the New York Times that revealed how the company attempted to deny and deflect blame for Russia's manipulation of its platform.

The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Facebook previous year hired a Republican opposition research firm, which claimed Soros helped fund anti-Facebook protesters. "To now learn that you are active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale", said Gaspard.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Cheryl Sandberg were both so bent on growing Facebook that they "ignored warning signs and then sought to hide them from public view", the report said.

The firm, Definers Public Affairs, sent a research document to reporters that accused Soros of backing the anti-Facebook groups behind the scenes. "This type of firm might be normal in Washington but it is not the kind of thing I want Facebook associated with".

George Soros speaks during a forum at the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington on September 24, 2011. "And we're not working with them", Zuckerberg told reporters.

While the Times noted that Soros was a favorite bete noire of anti-Semites, it did not characterize the actions of Facebook or Definers as anti-Semitic.

"While we still have a long way to go, we're proud of the progress we have made in fighting misinformation, removing bad content and preventing foreign actors from manipulating our platform".

The social brand disputed a number of the article's claims in particular, leading with the assertion that its former chief security officer, Alex Stamos, was discouraged by the C-suite into combating Russian interference. He said Facebook still has to figure out who should be on the body. "I failed to prepare my employer for the disinformation campaign and that is on me".

Facebook's relationship with Definers has been reported previously by Politico and Axios, which seem to have been better informed about Facebook than the company's CEO.

When criticism of its belated Russian Federation admission grew, Facebook mounted a lobbying campaign led by Sandberg.

The accusations were made by Open Society Foundations, a non-profit group founded by Mr Soros, following an investigation into Facebook's alleged use of underhand and aggressive tactics created to divert attention away from its own scandals.

In a letter addressed to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and copying CEO Mark Zuckerberg along with several Facebook investors and Washington politicians, Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard denounced Facebook's alleged efforts to disparage Soros.

"Facebook should launch an independent investigation of what took place and to publish a full report disclosing the techniques that were used in their effort to compromise activists and George Soros".

At the same time, Facebook and other tech giants are facing criticism from Trump and others that they suppress conservative voices.

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