Facebook's Top Brass Say They Knew Nothing About Definers. Don't Believe Them

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"Facebook should launch an independent investigation of what took place and to publish a full report disclosing the techniques that were used in their effort to compromise activists and George Soros".

Amid scrutiny over its failure to prevent Russian-linked accounts from using its platform to meddle in the 2016 presidential elections, Facebook reportedly hired a Republican research firm that sought to discredit criticism of the company by linking it to Jewish billionaire George Soros.

"These efforts appear to have been part of a deliberate strategy to distract from the very real accountability problems your company continues to grapple with", wrote Patrick Gaspard, the president of the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organisation founded by Soros.

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the a year ago, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook's critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation.

Facebook misled the public about its knowledge of Russian hackers' use of the powerful platform to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a New York Times investigation reported Thursday.

"In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, a global nation unto itself that reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world", the Times reported.

The day after an investigation by The New York Times called Zuckerberg's leadership into question - and accused the company of concealing damaging information from the public - it was evident that he is pursuing a painstaking approach to crisis management: more transparency.

The social brand disputed a number of the article's claims in particular, leading with the assertion that its former chief security officer, Alex Stamos, was discouraged by the C-suite into combating Russian interference.

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To portray its critics as Soros-backed, Facebook hired a PR firm called Definers Public Affairs.

The New York Times is wrong to suggest that we ever asked Definers to pay for or write articles on Facebook's behalf - or to spread misinformation.

Facebook's stock closed slightly down on Thursday, near its lowest price in a year.

Facebook said in its statement that it ended its contract with Definers Wednesday night.

"It is alarming that Facebook would engage in these unsavory tactics", Vachon said on Thursday.

Paul Levy: Interestingly what you say is, of course, what has now is being called generation Z, the kind of post-millennial generation are being seen to be leading these traditional social media platforms, along with things like fake news. To now learn that you are active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale.

Color of change, a racial justice organisation that, according to the report, was targeted in opposition research efforts, said in a statement on Thursday that Facebook's actions were "reprehensible" and "dangerous".

Facebook was likewise said to have utilized a Republican firm having some expertise in restriction research to dishonor activists, somewhat by connecting them to the liberal Soros, who has turned into a favored focus of Trump supporters and far-right trick gatherings.

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