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Facebook Would Have Let Hitler Post Anti-Semitic Ads, Says Sacha Baron Cohen

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Adolf Hitler would have been able to put anti-Semitic advertisements on Facebook had the social network existed in the 1930s, according to British comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

The 48-year-old Ali G star singled out the US tech giant during a searing broadside Thursday against social media companies amplifying hatred and violence as part of “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”

Speaking at Never Is Now, the Anti-Defamation League’s New York conference on anti-Semitism and hate, he targeted Facebook for running political advertisements without fact-checking.

“Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem,'” Baron Cohen said as he accepted the ADL’s International Leadership Award.

Facebook told AFP however the actor had misrepresented its policies.

“Hate speech is actually banned on our platform. We ban people who advocate for violence and we remove anyone who praises or supports it,” a spokesperson said.

“Nobody — including politicians — can advocate or advertise hate, violence or mass murder on Facebook.”

Baron Cohen’s remarks came a day after Google said it would not allow political advertisers to use “microtargeting” based on user browsing data, political affiliation or other factors, including on YouTube.

Google also sought to clarify its policy by indicating it does not allow “false claims” in advertising, political or otherwise.

The move followed a ban by Twitter on most kinds of political ads, and comes amid growing pressure on internet platforms to curb the spread of misinformation around political campaigns.

Facebook, which has rejected efforts to fact-check political speech or ads, is being urged to follow suit.

“So here’s a good standard and practice: Facebook, start fact-checking political ads before you run them,” said Baron Cohen.

“Stop micro-targeted lies immediately, and when the ads are false, give back the money and don’t publish them.”

The controversial satirist’s anarchic, gonzo-style comedy has spawned celebrated TV and movie characters such as Ali G and  Borat Sagdiyev — not to mention acclaim, the occasional lawsuit and a hatful of awards.

He went on to attack Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s characterisation of the company as a bastion of “free expression.”

“I think we could all agree that we should not be giving bigots and paedophiles a free platform to amplify their views and target their victims,” he said.

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Helping Prevent Discrimination in Ads that Offer Housing, Employment or Credit Opportunities.

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iscrimination has no place on Facebook, and our advertising policies have long prohibited unlawful discrimination. Over the last year, our auditors have released two progress updates on Facebook’s Civil Rights Audit and we reached a historic settlement with leading civil rights organizations. As part of the settlement, we introduced a new process for how advertisers based in the US, or trying to reach audiences in the US, can buy ads that offer housing, employment or credit opportunities. These ads are known as Special Ad Categories and are restricted from using the following targeting criteria: age, gender, ZIP code, multicultural affinity or any detailed options describing or appearing to relate to protected characteristics.The Latest News from Facebook for Business

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Facebook Brings WhatsApp Integration to Its Revamped Crisis Response Tool

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Social network giant Facebook is adding a WhatsApp button to crisis response tool, its disaster-reporting and communications feature where a user requests or offers help during a time of emergency. The tool is being used in 300 crises in more than 80 countries presently.

The new feature will allow people in affected areas to provide real-time information related to any disaster, TechCrunch.com reported on Tuesday.

Formerly, replies to requests on Facebook’s crisis response pages could only be sent with Facebook Messenger.

The update allow the social network to provide this information to state and local officials, as well as federal relief agencies such as Direct Relief and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation.

Facebook is also expanding its Data for Good tools, using its data to provide relief organisations with information on where to distribute supplies, based on aggregated, anonymised data.

Additionally, Facebook is also updating its disaster maps to be more accurate in collaboration with agencies such as the International Displacement Monitoring Centre.

The new features will allow for photo and video sharing within the Crisis Response centre on Facebook.

Crisis Response originally developed out of a handful of features that help family, friends and communities support one another in the wake of a disaster.

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Facebook to Allow Transfer of Photos, Videos to Google, Other Rivals

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Facebook started testing a tool on Monday that lets users move their images more easily to other online services, as it faces pressure from regulators to loosen its grip on data. The social network’s new tool will allow people to transfer their photos and videos directly to competing platforms, starting with Google Photos. The company said it will first be available to people in Ireland and will be refined based on user feedback.

The tool will then be rolled out worldwide in the first half of 2020.

US and European regulators have been examining Facebook’s control of personal data such as images as they look into whether the tech giant’s dominance is stifling competition and limiting choice for consumers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reacted by calling for new rules to address “data portability” and other issues.

Facebook said that as it worked on a new set of data portability tools, it had discussions with policymakers, regulators, and academics in the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore to learn about which data should be portable and how to protect privacy.

The company is developing products that “take into account the feedback we’ve received and will help drive data portability policies forward by giving people and experts a tool to assess,” Steve Satterfield, director of privacy and public policy, said in a blog post.

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