Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Harvard University addressed fake news but missed the centrepoint

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New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2019 6:48 AM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is “definitely not trying” to decide what should be the truth and what shouldn’t

Zuckerberg went back to his alma mater on Wednesday (Source: Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revisited Harvard University Wednesday to address some key issues that the company is embroiled in, having data privacy as the bottom-line. Zuckerberg was speaking to Jonathan Zittrain, who heads the Harvard Law’s Berkman Klein Center for internet and society. He said that Facebook is not the “arbiter of truth” and is working on curbing the spread of misinformation around the globe.

Zuckerberg tore a page from his rhetoric playbook to address one of the many subjects that have been a bad press for Facebook. He said he knows that people do not want Facebook to control the truth, instead, they believe Facebook is supposed to tackle fake news and its rampant dissemination that has numerously staked important activities in many nations.

In his conversation, Zuckerberg said that Facebook is “definitely not trying” to decide what should be the truth and what shouldn’t. That is why Facebook is now bullishly hiring people specialising in fact-checking to scrutinise various information circulating on the platform, Zuckerberg added.

While the company is ramping up its efforts to clamp down on fake news, Zuckerberg said that Facebook realises what its users want in the form of content on the platform. He said that people will turn resentful if they are only seeing clickbaity and misleading information, including the advertisements from brands and political parties. But this is not something that we are hearing for the first time. After the debacle centring Facebook over manipulations made ahead of US and German elections broke out, Zuckerberg told critics the same belief.

Over the company’s plan unify all of its platforms – the marquee Facebook app, WhatsApp, and Instagram, Zuckerberg said that the end-to-end encryption that WhatsApp features will not be compromised. However, he also said that Messenger does not offer end-to-end encryption by default but there is an option to enable it. He vouched for the inclusion of encryption on all of its apps.

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