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Want to Ensure India’s Elections Are Unaffected: FB CEO Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to ensure protection of integrity of elections. During his joint hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, Zuckerberg noted that there are several important elections in 2018 in countries like India, Hungary and Brazil and his company wants to ensure protection of integrity in these elections.

"2018 is is an incredibly important year for elections. Not just in the US mid-terms, but, around the world, there are important elections – in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and Hungary – and we want to make sure we do everything we can to protect the integrity of these elections," he said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s organisation faces charges of failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica from gathering personal information of Facebook users to try to influence elections. Zuckerberg said his one of the greatest regrets was that Facebook has been slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016.

"We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyber attacks, which we did identify and notify the campaigns that they were trying to hack into them," he said.

The Facebook CEO said he was now more confidant as his company has set the things right . Since the 2016 election, there have been several important elections around the world where it has had a better record, he said.

“There was the French presidential election. There was the German election. There was the US Senate Alabama special election last year," Mark Zuckerberg added.

He said Facebook has deployed new Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that better identify fake accounts, trying to interfere in elections or spread misinformation.

"Between those three elections, we were able to proactively remove tens of thousands of accounts before they could do significant harm," he said.

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Growing Crisis of Confidence Among Facebook Users

Facebook faces a growing crisis of confidence among users, advertisers, employees and investors after acknowledging that up to 87 million people, mostly in the United States, had their personal information harvested from the site by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted US President Donald Trump's election campaign among its clients.

It is also struggling to deal with fake news and alleged foreign interference in elections, disclosing in September that Russians under fake names used the social network to try to influence US voters in the months before and after the 2016 election, writing about inflammatory subjects, setting up events and buying ads.

(With inputs from PTI, Reuters)

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