News roundup: Facebook continues to fuel criticism by admitting it signed off on PR company's attacks

News roundup: Facebook continues to fuel criticism by admitting it signed off on PR company's attacks

Oops, Facebook did it again

I really was hoping I wouldn't have to open the news roundup with a ‘look at all the terrible things Facebook has done' story but, in true holiday spirit, the social media platform really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Here's a short list of all the things Facebook have faced criticism for this week:

  • Challenging its £500,000 fine issued by the ICO
  • Putting out a memo at 12am GMT and 5pm PST the day before Thanksgiving, admitting to the fact they did actually instruct a PR company to attack George Soros in an attempt to undermine its critics
  • Promoting a child bride ‘auction' and then taking a bit too long to remove the post
  • Also, not removing a video that supports and promotes a banned far-right group National Action

Just another quiet week over in Silicon Valley then… 

Facebook announced on Wednesday that is was filing an appeal against the ICO, claiming that the fine "challenges some of the basic principles of how people should be allowed to share information online". Facebook also said that by challenging the fine it wasn't disputing its actions were wrong, however they claim that no evidence has been provided to suggest information of Facebook users in the UK was caught up in the scandal.

Now, if I was a cynical person I might say that Facebook announced it was challenging the ICO fine in an attempt to draw some attention from the statement it knew it was putting out later that day. Namely, that Facebook did ask Definers Public Affairs to undermine its critics by publishing their association with the philanthropist George Soros.

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Charlotte Trueman

Charlotte is Staff Writer at IDG Connect. She is particularly interested in the impact technology will have on the future of work and promoting gender diversity throughout the tech industry.

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