Facebook board defends Zuckerberg and Sandberg | Digital

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Facebook has removed millions of posts, photos, and other forms of content that violated its policies against hate speech, terrorist propaganda and child exploitation, as well as more than a billion fake accounts, the social media giant announced Thursday.

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.

Facebook spent much of Thursday attempting to quell the fire caused by the New York Times' report about executive inaction and politicking on Facebook's many crises over the past three years. The second note now includes Zuckerberg's outline for challenges in content management; how Facebook will continuously define the content that is and is not allowed on Facebook, how it will police that content with both human reviewers and artificial intelligence, how it will mitigate the dissemination of what Zuckerberg calls inflammatory "borderline content", Facebook's approach to government regulation, and systems for "independent oversight and transparency".

Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, attends the Cannes Lions Festival 2017, June 22, 2017, in Cannes, France.

The call comes after the New York Times published a report claiming the company had hired an opposition research firm to discredit critics by linking them to Soros, a frequent target of conservatives and anti-Semitic vitriol from the far right.

On Russia, Zuckerberg declared in the fall of 2016 that it was "crazy" to think Facebook had been used to help Donald Trump win the United States presidency, but the report said in-house experts knew this not to be the case.

Facebook, in a statement Thursday, denied pushing journalists to spread misinformation. In the piece, it is alleged that Zuckerberg "ordered" his executive team to ditch iPhones and only use Android phones as a sort of "payback" and to show solidarity.

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On Russia, Zuckerberg declared in the fall of 2016 that it was "crazy" to think Facebook had been used to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency, but the report said in-house experts knew this not to be the case.

"To suggest that we weren't interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue", Sandberg wrote tonight in a Facebook post.

The company plans to create an independent body that will review appeals of decisions to take down content, after a "consultation period" to determine how it should work. "The document referenced in the Times story regarding the anti-Facebook organization's potential funding sources was entirely factual and based on public records, including public statements by one of its organizers about receiving funding from Mr. Soros' foundation", the Definers spokesperson said.

Facebook responded by lobbying a Jewish civil rights group - the Anti-Defamation League - to publicly label that criticism as anti-Semitic, the Times said.

Patrick Gaspard, president of Open Society Foundations, said the strategy was "dangerous".

Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to discredit activists critical of the social network, according to the report. "Our job is to keep the misuse low, consistently improve over time, and stay ahead of new threats".

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