Soros group slams Facebook, calling it ‘active in promoting’ hate and misinformation

Facebook Mark Zuckerburg Data Privacy Scandal

A November 14th, 2018 New York Times report now alleges that Zuckerberg and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly ignored multiple red flags indicating patterns of concern in the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, in favour of growing the company.

Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change, which has been openly critical of Facebook's handling of hate speech on its platform, told the Guardian in an interview that the antisemitic smear campaign orchestrated by the PR firm hired by Facebook was both "outrageous and concerning".

According to the New York Times, it was Ms Sandberg, a former US Treasury official under Bill Clinton and well-known advocate for women in business, who led a campaign to neutralise Facebook's critics even as Mr Zuckerberg conducted a high-profile apology tour.

Facebook has been accused of "threatening the very values underpinning our democracy" by allowing anti-Semitic conspiracies to spread on its social network and commissioning "vile propaganda" about billionaire financier George Soros.

"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 organization founded by Soros.

In fact, the lengthy and detailed reporting by the Times contained so many troubling revelations, informed readers of the piece had troubling keeping up with it all.

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Zuckerberg said he wasn't previously aware that Facebook had hired the firm.

The report claims the company hired a PR firm to shift negative media attention onto rival tech companies, had prior knowledge of Russian interference in the USA presidential election and told its management team members to boycott their iPhones after Apple boss Tim Cook made a disparaging remark about the platform.

When asked whether this was evidence that he does not have sufficient control over the company, Zuckerberg said that it is natural to lack some knowledge of operations in a company with tens of thousands of employees. He said his company will win trust by getting better and better.

"The intention was not to attack an individual", Zuckerberg said on the call. "To suggest that we were not interested in knowing the truth, or that we were hiding the truth, is not true", he said.

The company's statement said any suggestion that its own counter-offensive embraced anti-Semitic tactics was "reprehensible and untrue". "We have made great progress, and she's a big reason for that". And he pushed back on the notion that the "board composition" needs to be rethought more generally.

Mr Zuckerberg said: "The bottom line here though is as soon as I learned about this, I talked to our team and we are no longer working with this firm. this type of firm might be normal in Washington, but it's not the kind of thing that I want Facebook associated with". "There are a lot of good and important questions here", he said, buckling in for another half hour, "so let's keep going for a while".

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