Zucker­berg seeks for­give­ness for di­vi­sion caused by his work

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Development - Nige­rian TV pre­sen­ter, Amina Yuguda

Face­book Inc. founder and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Mark Zucker­berg, asked for for­give­ness for ways his work was used to di­vide peo­ple in a Face­book post­ing mark­ing the end of Yom Kip­pur, the Jewish hol­i­day of atone­ment on Satur­day, Septem­ber 30th.

“For the ways my work was used to di­vide peo­ple rather than bring us to­gether, I ask for­give­ness and I will work to do bet­ter,” Zucker­berg said in the post.

He didn’t re­fer to spe­cific is­sues in the mes­sage, which comes as Face­book and other tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are un­der in­creased scru­tiny amid a U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tion into po­ten­tial Rus­sian in­volve­ment in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign.

Face­book said on Sept. 6 it had found that an op­er­a­tion likely based in Rus­sia spent $100,000 on thou­sands of U.S. ads pro­mot­ing di­vi­sive so­cial and po­lit­i­cal mes­sages in a two-year-pe­riod through May.

Face­book, the dom­i­nant so­cial me­dia net­work, said 3,000 ads and 470 “in­au­then­tic” ac­counts and pages spread po­lar­iz­ing views on top­ics in­clud­ing im­mi­gra­tion, race and gay rights.

Face­book has launched an over­haul of how it han­dles paid po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ments, af­ter U.S. law­mak­ers threat­ened to reg­u­late the world’s largest so­cial net­work over se­cre­tive ads that run dur­ing elec­tion cam­paigns.

The award was set up in hon­our of pre­sen­ter Komla Du­mor who died in Jan­uary 2014, and aims to con­tinue Komla’s le­gacy by cel­e­brat­ing African jour­nal­ism and find­ing ex­cep­tional tal­ent. The judg­ing panel in­cluded Rachael Akidi, edi­tor of the BBC's Fo­cus on Africa ra­dio pro­gramme; Paul Roy­all, edi­tor of the BBC’s Six and Ten o'clock news in the UK; and Khadija Pa­tel, edi­tor-in-chief of South Africa's Mail & Guardian news­pa­per.

Amina said: “I am thrilled to have the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue the work of the pre­vi­ous win­ners of the Komla Du­mor Award, Nancy Ka­cun­gira and Didi Akinyelure.”

On her part, Francesca Unsworth, Di­rec­tor of BBC World Ser­vice Group and Deputy Di­rec­tor of News and Cur­rent Af­fairs, said, “To find some­one who pos­sesses many of Komla’s qual­i­ties is some­thing for us to cel­e­brate, and we are very ex­cited about work­ing with Amina.”

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