EU Parliament Embarrasses Zuck by Asking Relevant Questions

first_img“We haven’t done enough to prevent … tools for harm,” Zuckerberg said today in front of the EU Parliament. “That goes for fake news and influence in foreign elections. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a mistake and I am sorry for it.”That’s a concession we’ve heard before. Last month, Zuckerberg spoke in front of the US Congress, covering issues like the Cambridge Analytica data breach, as well as the role Facebook has had in the rise of fascism across the world. Data privacy, bullying, and information manipulation are emerging as some of the touchstone issues of our day, and the Europeans have frankly put the rest of the planet to shame. Not only has the continent tightened its data privacy laws, but when given a chance to grill the man (partially) responsible for our current waking nightmare, the EU Parliament asked actual questions. Y’know, instead of sitting there star struck or wondering, as Senator Lindsay Graham did, if Twitter was the same as Facebook.Chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, said that he believes “We have a big problem,” before pointing the blame at Zuckerberg for creating something beyond his control. “You have to ask yourself,” Verhofstadt added, “How you will be remembered as one of the big internet giants, together with Steve Jobs, I should say, and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies? Or on the other hand, the fact that a genius would create a digital monster that is destroying our democracies and our societies. That’s a question you have to put for yourself.”To that end, Zuckerberg has been resistant to rolling out the strident new regulations on data privacy in Europe to the other territories Facebook serves. And that’s irrational, at least from the perspective of trying to minimize the damage done to all of us. Facebook is almost impossible to control and moderate, and the Silicon Valley elites, Zuckerberg included, are hoping that AI will eventually help them bridge these types of gaps. In the meantime, though, it’s still comparatively easy to manipulate and exploit these sorts of platforms. Not to mention the ease with which others can still can access, use, and share your private information. For his part, Zuckerberg profusely apologized, but unless Facebook genuinely takes a proactive tack on this issue, instead of reacting to problems as they arise, it’s hard to see how anything of substance is changing. Except in the EU where informed politicians asking actual questions of the CEO. For the rest of us… Well… can’t get much worse, eh?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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