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Zuckerberg sees ‘positive’ force of Facebook despite firestorm

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Mark Zuckerberg said Monday he sees Facebook as a largely “positive” force for society as the embattled social network marked its 15th anniversary.

Even as Facebook is facing a wave of criticism over issues of manipulation, misinformation, abuse and other social ills, Zuckerberg said it would be a mistake “to overly emphasize the negative” impacts of social media and the internet.

The Facebook co-founder and chief executive said he sees profound social changes “as networks of people connected via the internet replace traditional hierarchies and reshape institutions from government to business to media.”

In a post on his Facebook page, he argued that “while any rapid social change creates uncertainty, I believe what we’re seeing is people having more power, and a long term trend reshaping society to be more open and accountable over time.”

He said Facebook and other social networks have fundamentally changed how people interact with their communities and institutions.

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“I’ll never forget how right after we launched News Feed, we saw millions of people organize marches against violence in Colombia. We saw communities come together to do viral fundraisers,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg added: “If the last 15 years were about people building these new networks and starting to see their impact, then the next 15 years will be about people using their power to remake society in ways that have the potential to be profoundly positive for decades to come.”

Facebook has seen unprecedented success by amassing more than 2.3 billion people worldwide who actively use the social network to share updates, obtain information and connect with new people.

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Despite the wave of scandals, Facebook took in a record $22 billion profit for 2018 as revenues surged to $55 billion.

Zuckerberg has acknowledged that Facebook needs to do more to restore trust, and ferret out misinformation and abuse, and on Monday repeated his pledge to spend more “on safety and security.”

His comments come 15 years after he and classmates at Harvard University founded what was known as “the facebook” and began a mission described by Zuckerberg as connecting the world.


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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