PM confronts Facebook boss

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says Facebook has become a tool of disruption in some societies, and questioned its boss Mark Zuckerberg on what he was doing to address that.
“Facebook is a great tool for giving voice to millions and millions of people around the world, and we all appreciate that,” O’Neill said.
“But also it has become a tool of disruption in some societies when it also carries misinformation and malicious lies that are wrong, but are never checked for fact,” O’Neill said.
He raised the concern when Zuckerberg addressed a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders in Lima, Peru last week.
O’Neill and Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau took the Facebook founder and CEO to task on the way in which misleading and incorrect information on Facebook damaged communities with no recourse to truth.
O’Neill questioned Zuckerberg on what his company was doing to manage “misinformation and messages of hate” through the online platform. O’Neill said the power of the internet could be misused, and that online platforms had a duty of care to users to protect communities from the harm which could be inflicted by lies and malicious slander.
Trudeau said the spread of false news and ideologies could be harmful to societies.
Zuckerberg agreed that giving people a voice was positive and powerful but he had concerns.
“There are issues, sometimes new issues that emerge that we need to help manage. We also have a responsibility to combat the spread of things like hate speech,” he said.
“This can also be used to spread things like hate and violence at a faster rate than might have been possible in the past.
“So we do feel a strong responsibility to help make sure that doesn’t happen. We have to take steps, often working with law enforcement and different governments, to help manage the different issues in different areas.
“We are pretty focused on hate speech, violence and harm, and misinformation.
“We have been pretty effective at managing technologies on that.”