Will do everything possible to ensure elections in India are fair, says Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg testified before the senators and a House panel amid uproar over the alleged hijacking of data of millions of Facebook users by British firm Cambridge Analytica. 

Will do everything possible to ensure elections in India are fair, says Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

WASHINGTON: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday said that his company will do everything to ensure that fair polling takes place in India and other countries. "2018 is an important year for the whole world. Several countries like India, Pakistan will have elections. We'll do everything possible to ensure these elections are safe," Zuckerberg said during a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees at the Capitol Hill.

Zuckerberg added that he knows the importance that the upcoming polls in countries, including India, Hungary and Brazil hold.

The Facebook co-founder faced a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. The 33-year-old testified before the senators and a House panel amid uproar over the alleged hijacking of data of millions of Facebook users by British firm Cambridge Analytica. 

Zuckerberg also said that he was "sorry" that Facebook did not take a "broad enough view" of the responsibility when their platform was being used for circulating fake news and was becoming a tool for foreign interference in elections. "We didn't do enough to keep fake news and foreign interference in elections away. We didn’t take a broad view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake and I’m sorry for what happened. I started Facebook and I run it. I take full responsibility as the CEO of Facebook," he said.

The 33-year-old billionaire also expressed regret that his company was slow in identifying the Russian operations in 2016, which allegedly benefitted the then-presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who is now USA's 45th president.

The hearing is taking place after reports started pouring in March that the social networking site had compromised with the personal data of over 87 million Facebook users to Britain-based Cambridge Analytica - which allegedly influenced voters during the 2016 US Presidential elections. 

The firm's former employee Christopher Wylie accused Cambridge Analytica of gathering the details of Facebook through a personality quiz in 2014. He alleged that because 270,000 people took the quiz, the data of some 50 million users, mainly in the US, was harvested without their explicit consent via their friend networks.

On April 5, the social media giant, however, revealed that the data of as many as 87 million users was improperly shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, far greater than the 50 million previously estimated.

(With agency inputs) 

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