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Facebook morally bankrupt, says New Zealand privacy commissioner

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New Zealand’s official privacy watchdog has described Facebook as “morally bankrupt” and suggested his country follow Australia’s lead by making laws that could jail executives over streamed violence such as the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Privacy commissioner John Edwards has been critical of Facebook’s response to a gunman using the platform to livestream some of the slaughter of 50 worshippers and the wounding of 50 more at two mosques on March 15.

“Facebook cannot be trusted. They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions.”

Mr Edwards made his comments after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently rejected calls to introduce a delay in his livestreaming service Facebook Live, saying it would interfere with the interactivity of livestreaming.

“Facebook cannot be trusted. They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions,” Mr Edwards posted on Twitter.

Facebook has been criticised for not doing enough to police hate speech in Burma (Myanmar), where a government campaign against minority Rohingya Muslims has been described by the UN as ethnic cleansing.

The platform has also been at the centre of claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

“We are deeply committed to strengthening our policies, improving our technology and working with experts to keep Facebook safe.”

Facebook responded to Mr Edwards’s post with a statement that said its chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had recently shared the policy and technical steps the company was taking to strengthen the rules for using Facebook Live, address hate on Facebook platforms and support the New Zealand community.

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