Facebook speaks on Zimbabwe users’ security




HARARE – Assistant Editor, Maxwell Sibanda of the Daily News, has received responses of questions sent to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook.  Find below some excerpts of the interview with the Facebook spokesperson.

Q: How safe are Facebook users given that government will be tightening its grip through introduction of new cyber laws?

A: Protecting the security of people on Facebook and the privacy of their information is hugely important to us. We do not provide any government organisation with direct access to our servers. We require governments to follow our published guidelines for requesting information from us.

Q: What is your policy in terms of those who use your platform to abuse others; that is, the use of hate language?

A:  Our Community Standards prohibit hate speech, terrorism, specific threats of violence and bullying. As our platform grows, we keep investing in our teams and work with carefully selected and reputable partners to make sure that we apply these standards consistently and effectively.

People are who they say they are on Facebook, unlike other places on the Internet.

People use their names on Facebook, not random screen names or Internet handles. This means people know who they are communicating with and can feel comfortable sharing and connecting.

People are also more responsible on Facebook because they can’t hide behind a fake name and troll other people —t hey have to stand behind what they post and say.

While we work hard to remove hate speech, we also give you tools to avoid distasteful or offensive content. Every week, our community reports millions of pieces of content to us for possibly violating our Community Standards. To speed up our process of reviewing those reports, we recently announced that we are adding an additional 3 000 content reviewers to our existing 4 500 reviewers, nearly doubling our existing team.

Q: How are you dealing with people who create fake accounts?

A: As part of our mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together, online safety is important to us.

We allow people to use Facebook to challenge ideas and raise awareness about important issues, but we will remove content that is reported to us and violates our Community Standards, which includes amongst others bullying, hate speech and fake accounts.

Misrepresenting yourself on Facebook is against our policies, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams. To help prevent fake profiles, we have built automated systems over the years that use machine learning and other sophisticated techniques to help address scams, spam, phishing and malicious accounts, including profiles that might be impersonating someone else. We recently improved its measures against fake Facebook profiles, and a team is dedicated to detect and block those accounts.

Q: How are you dealing with fake news and those who spread it?

A: We take misinformation seriously. People want accurate news on Facebook — and we want that too. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time — and will continue. Fake news isn’t new — and everyone has a responsibility to do their part.

We take this responsibility seriously. We’re testing several ways to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post.

We’ve also found that a lot of false news is financially motivated. So we’re doing several things to reduce the financial incentives.

The goal is to empower people to identify misleading news content with an educational, in-product communication from Facebook and send a strong signal that we are against false news.

Q: What is your policy in terms of protecting users from government security agencies?

A: Protecting the security of people on Facebook and the privacy of their information is hugely important to us. We do not provide any government organisation with direct access to our servers. We require governments to follow our published guidelines for requesting information from us.

Q: How do you control Cyber-bullying?

A: Our standards prohibit the posting of content that bullies or harasses, and we maintain a robust reporting infrastructure that leverages two billion people who use our site to keep an eye out for offensive or potentially dangerous content. We allow you to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them when reported to us.

Q: How do you control nudity?

A: It is not always easy to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community of many different ages, but we try our best. We also have to take into account that we have young people on our platform.

Q: Do you allow advertising on your platforms? What is your policy?

A: In order to maintain a safe and respectful community on Facebook, we have global Advertising Policies that describe what ads are and are not allowed on Facebook. When an ad is submitted, it goes through an extensive review process. If an ad is submitted that violates these policies, the ad will be rejected by our team.

Q: Do you sometimes get lawsuits from those abused through you network?

A: This isn’t something we can or would discuss.

Q: Have there ever been any prosecutions of those with fake accounts?

A: Again, this isn’t something we can discuss, however as mentioned, Community Standards and online safety is extremely important to us at Facebook and will continue to be — we always want people to feel welcome, safe and empowered when using the platform.

Q: How many users are there in Zimbabwe?

A: We don’t reveal figures for Zimbabwe, however what we can say is that since 2015, the number of people connected to Facebook across the continent has increased by 42 percent to over 170 million monthly active people, of which 94 percent come back on mobile.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Total Daily Active People: 49 million
Mobile: 48 million
Total Monthly Active People: 101 million
Mobile: 98 million.

Q: How does Facebook make its money as a business?

A: Facebook makes the majority of its revenue from advertising. You can find the latest information on our financials and revenues on our Investor Relations site. What this means is that we’re in the business of growing our advertising partners businesses — we want to be the best dollar and minute they spend. Our success depends upon driving business results for our clients.