Categories Markets, Technology

Mark Zuckerberg is busy tackling Russian hackers; declines to meet UK lawmakers

While Facebook (FB) chief Mark Zuckerberg has every right to think he has done his bit by plugging the social media platform’s security loopholes during the midterm polls, he may find it difficult to defend the decision not to testify before the UK parliament about data privacy issues.

Zuckerberg has been under pressure from the Irish, Argentine and Australian authorities also to attend the meeting to be held in London by month-end and answer questions related to the alleged misuse of user data and dissemination of fake news on the platform.

Responding to a directive by the British and Canadian regulators to attend the ‘special hearing,’ the company Wednesday turned down the demand but offered to work with the concerned committee and make the required information available.

Zuckerberg has been under pressure from the Irish, Argentine and Australian authorities also to attend the meeting to be held in London

The lawmakers, meanwhile, raised concerns over Zuckerberg not giving the several millions of Facebook users in their countries ‘the same line of accountability’ as he did in the US and EU, by presenting himself before the regulatory agencies and answering their questions.

Meanwhile, the company said it thwarted attempts by certain Russia-based entities to interfere with the mid-term election, by misusing the Facebook platform. As part of the crackdown, several malicious Facebook pages were blocked this week, including those run by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). A few months ago, Facebook had removed about 270 fake accounts operated by the IRA.

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According to a statement from the company, the action was taken based on an intelligence tip-off that Russian hackers had targeted the website and media-sharing platform Instagram to influence voters during the midterm election.

In an indication that the company continues its effort to enhance user experience, even while tackling operational challenges, Facebook Wednesday announced a new feature for its messaging app that allows users to delete messages after posting them. Once the new feature is incorporated into the app, users will be able to take back their messages within 10 minutes of sending them.

For Facebook, 2018 was both the best and worst year, when its stock hit a record high but witnessed some of the worst selloffs also.  The stock, which plunged about 19% since the beginning of the year, traded higher during Wednesday’s regular session.


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