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Technology Joe Biden slams Facebook, calls Zuckerberg 'a real problem'

19:45  17 january  2020
19:45  17 january  2020 Source:   cnet.com

Trump hosted Zuckerberg for undisclosed dinner at the White House in October

  Trump hosted Zuckerberg for undisclosed dinner at the White House in October The meeting took place during Zuckerberg's most recent visit to Washington, where he testified before Congress about Facebook's new cryptocurrency Libra.The meeting took place during Zuckerberg's most recent visit to Washington, where he testified before Congress about Facebook's new cryptocurrency Libra. Zuckerberg also gave a speech at Georgetown University detailing his company's commitment to free speech, and its resistance to calls for the company to crack down on misinformation in political ads.

In a new wide-ranging interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden made clear that he isn't a big supporter of Facebook or its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg .

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Olson/Getty Images© Provided by CNET Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Olson/Getty Images

"I've never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know. I've never been a big Zuckerberg fan," Biden told The Times when asked about the power of big technology companies and a Facebook ad that ran on the platform falsely claiming he blackmailed Ukranian officials. "I think he's a real problem."

Mark Zuckerberg had a quiet dinner with Trump at White House in October

  Mark Zuckerberg had a quiet dinner with Trump at White House in October The Facebook boss was in Washington to testify about Libra and get questioned about letting politicians spread misinformation in ads.Mark Zuckerberg met President Trump for dinner in October.

"He knows better. And you know, from my perspective, I've been in the view that not only should we be worrying about the concentration of power, we should be worried about the lack of privacy and them being exempt, which you're not exempt," Biden continued, adding that companies like Facebook should be responsible for the content on their platforms.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. © Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

During the interview, which was published Friday, Biden also said that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says that technology companies aren't liable for what users post on their services, "should be revoked, immediately should be revoked" for Facebook and other online services.

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The issue around Section 230 has been bipartisan. Concerned that large tech companies were politically biased, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, introduced a bill last June that would remove the immunity provided by the act unless tech companies protected by it submitted to an external audit.

Proponents of Section 230 have long argued that it allows for free speech online.

"It should be revoked because it is not merely an internet company," said Biden, who noted how a newspaper like The Times has editors and cannot simply publish known lies without fear of libel penalties. "It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy."

In response to a question on if Facebook should be subject to criminal penalties if it's found that proven harm was done, the former vice president said that Zuckerberg "should be submitted to civil liability and his company to civil liability, just like you would be here at The New York Times."

This isn't the first time Biden has spoken out against Facebook or Section 230. He made a similar comment during a November Democratic debate that occurred roughly one month before his sit-down with The Times.

Facebook axes pages that supported Robert Hyde, figure in impeachment probe .
Facebook said it didn't get the info it sought from the page owners after it found the pages were "misleading people by concealing who controls them.""When we find networks of Pages misleading people by concealing who controls them, we require those owners to show additional information," Facebook said in an emailed statement Saturday. "In this case, the necessary disclosure was not made, so per our policy, the Pages have been removed.

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