Facebook Inc. CEO, Mark Zuckerberg told the Senate during his hearing that the case with Russia continually seeking means to exploit the social media platform is an “arms race” and this has resulted in the never-ending battle with the social network.
The crises with Facebook include the issue with Russian agents using Facebook to influence the US 2016 election. While answering the questions about Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation, he revealed that Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigation Russia’s alleged meddling in the last election interviewed a staff member from Facebook. He maintained that his discussion with Mr. Mueller would remain confidential should he be interrogated. He said: “Our work with the special counsel is confidential and I want to make sure that in an open session, I’m not revealing something that’s confidential.”
Two months ago, Mueller’s team had charged thirteen Russians of interference with the US election. Five of them were accused of identity theft, while three others were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. An Internet Research Agency was also linked to the allegations and was charged with planting discord to create confusion in the US political system.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has repeatedly denied interference in the 2016 US election.
The accused Russians were indicted for posing as Americans and used fake names to open financial accounts, organised and promoted political rallies, supported contents that disparaged Hillary Clinton, among other allegations.
Mr. Zuckerberg said the social network is working towards developing sophisticated tools that would detect fake accounts. “There are people in Russia whose job it is to try to exploit our system and other internet systems and other systems as well. We need to invest in getting better at this too.”
He said further during the hearing that Facebook didn’t do enough to prevent the social network from being used in a harm’s way and repeatedly apologised for the mistake. On the one hand, it had believed that Cambridge Analytica deleted the data it harvested from the app. On the other, it did not provide the tools needed to identify fake accounts that were spearheaded by the Russian spies on the social network.
At the end of the second proceeding, Facebook’s stock shares had soared by 5%, thereby increasing his net worth by $3bn.