Zuckerberg: US government inaction allowed fake news to spread

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the annual F8 summit at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. (AFP)
Updated 27 June 2019

Zuckerberg: US government inaction allowed fake news to spread

  • The CEO also called on governments to further regulate private data, political advertising and step up efforts to prevent state actors from interfering in US elections
  • Zuckerberg also said the leading social network is struggling to find ways to deal with “deepfake” videos

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that a lack of action by US authorities on fake political content on the platform after the 2016 US election helped pave the way for a subsequent avalanche of online disinformation.
The CEO — who has himself been widely criticized for a lackluster response to fake news — also called on governments to further regulate private data, political advertising and step up efforts to prevent state actors from interfering in US elections.
“As a private company we don’t have the tools to make the Russian government stop... our government is the one that has the tools to apply pressure to Russia,” he said during an on-stage interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.
“After 2016 when the government didn’t take any kind of counter action, the signal that was sent to the world was that ‘ok we’re open for business’, countries can try to do this stuff... fundamentally there isn’t going to be a major recourse from the American government.”
Zuckerberg also said the leading social network is struggling to find ways to deal with “deepfake” videos which have the potential to deceive and manipulate users on a massive scale.
The comments come amid growing concern over deepfakes — which are altered by using artificial intelligence to appear genuine — being used to manipulate elections or potentially spark unrest.
Earlier this month, Facebook’s Instagram network decided not to take down a fake video of Zuckerberg himself, saying the CEO would not get special treatment.
Online platforms have been walking a fine line, working to root out misinformation and manipulation efforts while keeping open to free speech.
Zuckerberg said this is a constant challenge, repeating his position that Facebook should not be an arbiter of truth on the Internet.
“I do not think we want to go so far toward saying that a private company prevents you from saying something that it thinks is factually incorrect to another person,” he said.


Google honors female Egyptian lawyer Mufidah Abdul-Rahman

Updated 20 January 2020

Google honors female Egyptian lawyer Mufidah Abdul-Rahman

  • Abdul-Rahman was born 106 years ago in Cairo in 1914, she died on Sept. 3, 2002
  • Abdul-Rahman co-founded the National Feminist Party, an organization that fights for universal suffrage in Egypt

DUBAI: Mufidah Abdul-Rahman, one of Egypt’s first female lawyers was honored in a Google doodle on Monday.

Abdul-Rahman was born 106 years ago in Cairo in 1914, she died on Sept. 3, 2002 when she was 88. She graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law and became the premiere female attorney in the country.

A strong supporter of gender equality in Egypt, she regularly strove to improve women’s rights and was first female lawyer to take cases to the Court of Cassation in Egypt and present cases before a military court.

Abdul-Rahman was a strong supporter of gender equality in Egypt, she regularly strove to improve women’s rights and was first female lawyer to take cases to the Court of Cassation in Egypt. (Courtesy of Google)

While practicing law, she co-founded the National Feminist Party, an organization that fights for universal suffrage in Egypt.

Abdul-Rahman was also recruited into the women’s rights group Bint Al-Nil (Daughter of the Nile).

Abdul-Rahman was a strong supporter of gender equality in Egypt, she regularly strove to improve women’s rights and was first female lawyer to take cases to the Court of Cassation in Egypt. (Courtesy of Google)

Google Doodle has honored a number of Egyptian greats in the past, including actor Omar El-Sherif, Singer Umm Kalthoum, actress Faten Hammama and more.