Vox Sentences: Britain and Canada want answers from Mark Zuckerberg

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The UK and Canada summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face questions on fake news; the US and UK seek a ceasefire in the Yemen war.


Zuckerberg summoned to London

 Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images
  • Britain and Canada joined forces Tuesday to summon Mark Zuckerberg to a joint hearing on disinformation and fake news at a November event in London. [Independent / Andrew Griffin]
  • The Facebook founder appeared before the US Senate in the spring to face similar questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which pointed to the company’s extraction of personal data from millions of Facebook profiles to use it for political purposes. [Vox / Alvin Chang]
  • Zuckerberg has refused such requests from UK and Canadian lawmakers in the past. In response, the British Common Digital Culture chair, Damian Collins, said in a letter that Zuckerberg’s “evidence is now overdue and urgent.” [BBC]
  • The letter notes that Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation has not been examined by an international committee, despite the platform’s wide-reaching impact. In recent years, Facebook has been implicated in fake news and election scandals around the world, from the Brexit referendum to the 2016 US election and even the military-led genocide in Myanmar. [The Verge / James Vincent]
  • The company and Zuckerberg himself have been under immense scrutiny since 2016. Earlier this fall, Facebook announced that hackers had gained access to 29 million personal accounts in a massive data breach. The FBI is investigating the hack. [Vox / Stavros Agorakis]
  • The latest news comes as many are questioning the role and influence of Silicon Valley in modern-day politics, wondering whether Facebook can responsibly exercise the power it holds over people’s lives. From fake news to targeted ads and data breaches, any change in Facebook’s practices, intended or not, can have major effects on the world. [New Yorker / Evan Osnos]

The US and Britain seek peace negotiations in Yemen

  • The US and Britain, two of Saudi Arabia’s biggest trade partners and arms suppliers, are extending an olive branch to seek a ceasefire in the Yemen civil war, one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. [NYT / Gardiner Harris and Rick Gladstone]
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that UN-led negotiations for peace should begin next month. He urged both the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-allied Houthi rebels to cease missile and drone strikes in all populated areas of Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation. [Reuters / Phil Stewart, Eric Beech, and Mohammad Zargham]
  • The news comes just as relations between Saudi Arabia and the US have begun to cool, following the Saudi-orchestrated killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The team that killed and dismembered the Saudi dissident had close ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and the architect of the Yemen war. [BBC]
  • Saudi Arabia, which backs the country’s government against Islamic Houthi rebels, has imposed a blockade on Yemen’s main port, restricting the amount of food and other aid allowed inside. [Telegraph]
  • In the meantime, some 13 million people — nearly half the country’s population — risk dying from starvation within the next three months due to the ongoing civil war and the Saudi airstrikes that are killing civilians. [Guardian / Hannah Summers]

Miscellaneous

  • Barack and Michelle Obama may be adapting Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk for their first show with Netflix; the book details the chaos that ensued in the Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce departments after Donald Trump took office. [Deadline / Anthony D’Alessandro]
  • Princess Leonor, the 13-year-old heir to the Spanish throne, made her first public address at an event in Madrid, reading aloud the first of 169 articles of Spain’s Magna Carta. [The Cut / Lisa Ryan]
  • The Indian prime minister unveiled the world’s tallest statue, nearly twice the size of the Statue of Liberty, on Tuesday. It depicts Sardar Patel, a nationalist who helped unite modern India after its independence from Britain. [ABC News / Guy Davies]
  • Police in Kansas City, Missouri, successfully recovered a giant inflatable colon that was stolen this month from the back of a pickup truck. The $4,000 prop is meant to help teach about the dangers of colon cancer. [AP]

Verbatim

“I was so used to people liking me. But being hated? I hate it. I hate being hated!” [YouTuber Logan Paul, who was heavily criticized for uploading a video depicting a suicide victim earlier this year, is now trying to make amends with his audience / THR]


Watch this: What happens when nature goes viral?

How geotagged photos harm nature. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin]


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