Facebook Zuckerberg meets China, protects political policy announcements

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) The Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, defended the social media company's political advertising policies on Thursday and said he could not overcome the strict censorship of China, trying to position his company as a free speech defender.

“We wanted our services in China as a belief in connecting the whole world, and I thought we could help create a more open society,” said Zuckerberg, speaking to students at Georgetown University.

“I worked hard on this for a long time, but we couldn't agree on what it would do for us to work there,” he said. “They never let us go.”

He did not address the conditions or assurances he would need to enter the Chinese market.

Facebook tried for years to penetrate into China, one of the major obstacles played by Zuckerberg's vision of the entire population of the world required the company's apps.

Zuckerberg met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing and welcomed the country's top internet regulator on Facebook's campus. He also learned Mandarin and took a photo of himself running through Tiananmen Square, which drew a sharp response from the country's restrictive policy critics.

The company won a license briefly to open an “innovation hub” in Hangzhou last year, but it was later revoked.

Facebook Chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, comes to talk to the audience about "the challenges of protecting free speech and fighting hate speech online, misrepresentation and combating privacy and security of political data," at a forum hosted by Georgetown University Political and Public Service Institute (GU Politics and McCourt School of Public Policy in Washington, USA, 17 October, 2019. REUTERS / Carlos Jasso

Zuckerberg closed that door effectively in March, when he announced his plan to put Facebook towards more private forms of communication and he promised not to build data centers in countries “who violated the rights of the t violating a person such as privacy or freedom of expression. ”

He was repeatedly concerned about Thursday's data centers, this time naming China.

Zuckerberg also defended the company's political advertising policies on similar grounds, stating that Facebook at any one time prevented all political announcements but decided against it, pointing out that there was more talk. .

Facebook was twice about its advertising policies, especially from S.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, lead contest for Democratic Presidential nomination.

The company exempts politicians' notices from fact-checking standards applied to other material on the social network. Zuckerberg said that political advertising does not add significantly to the company's revenues, but believed that it would not be appropriate for a high-tech company to criticize public figures.

Reuters report in October 2018, citing sources, that Facebook executives briefly discussed preventing all political announcements, which produce less than 5% of the company's income.

The company refused, because product managers were keen to leave advertising dollars on the board and policy staff claimed that political announcements would deter wealthy holders and campaigners who could better deliver the TV and print advertisements.

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In recent years, Facebook has been scrutinizing its approach to fake news reports and disinfection campaigns, which has influenced many of the results of the 2016 presidential election, won by Donald Trump.

Trump argued that Russia has tried to interfere with US elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin denied it.

Warren's presidential campaign brought a recent challenge to Facebook's policy that exempts politicians' advertisements from fact checking, running ads on the social media platform in which the false claim to endorse Zuckerberg has offered a Trump re-election.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Katie Paul wrote; Edited by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards:The principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

. Civil Rights / Freedom (t) Technology (TRBC) (t) Asia / Pacific (t) Human Rights / Civil Rights (t) Internet / World Wide Web (t) Speech / Censorship Freedom (t) Pictures (p) Presidential Elections (t) United States (t) Social Media

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