'Facebook is a morality-free zone': tech chief lambasted by MP

28 April, 2018, 15:17 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has sparked government investigations globally, was mentioned only once on an hour-long conference call between analysts and Facebook management, when one analyst asked Zuckerberg what he learned from testifying in United States congressional hearings.

After easily beating Wall Street expectations, shares traded up 7.1 per cent after the bell at $171, paring a month-long decline that began with Facebook's disclosure in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had harvested data belonging to millions of users.

Schroepfer said: "I believe we are producing more extensive information for both the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner".

Either way, "the discovery of the foregoing may negatively affect user trust and engagement, harm our reputation and brands, and adversely affect our business and financial results", the world's biggest social-media giant said in the filing. As many as one million British Facebook users may have had their data harvested because they were connected to USA users targeted in data passed to Cambridge Analytica, Schroepfer said.

'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that.

Facebook's under fire chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said on Thursday: "Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018".

"We don't charge money for the platform", Schroepfer responded.

However, Schroepfer told the parliamentary inquiry into fake news that a Facebook investigation had discovered "billing and administration connections" between the two companies.

He claimed that Watch Party, a new feature created to let groups of people watch and content and interact, is something that Facebook is uniquely positioned to build. Interactivity also ties in with Facebook's video commissioning strategy for its Facebook Watch platform.

Effectively, though, this just amounts to giving Facebook more information - even if it's in the negative, it's equally telling about your personality. This may strike critics as manipulation of choice - which it is - but to many Facebook user-consumers, it brings the shopping catalogue to you, rather than you having to fetch or scroll down catalgoues.

Facebook reached the 87 million figure by adding up all the unique people that those 270 000 users were friends with at the time they gave the app permission.

However, Schroepfer said that a Canadian firm called AggregateIQ, which did work for the official campaign group Vote Leave, spent $2 million on ads.

Schroeder said users would be able to view who runs ads by June and that further measures, including labels for political ads and a searchable archive, would be rolled out before local elections in May 2019.

Net income for the first quarter came in at US$4.99 billion, or US$1.69 per share, compared with US$3.06 billion, or US$1.04 per share, a year earlier, Reuters reports.

Cambridge Analytica responded furiously to coverage of the affair earlier this week - claiming reports in the media have portrayed the firm as some Bond villain.

"In addition, recent scandals such as Cambridge Analytica's misuse of personal data from Facebook users has again raised concerns over the protection of privacy online". "That's a weak tool to stop people getting messaging they don't want", he said, and suggested he thought political advertising and related user preferences should be treated very differently to those concerning general consumer interests.



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