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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Facebook has hired the World Economic Forum's former head of technology policy, Zvika Krieger, as its new director of responsible innovation, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: In the wake of its many scandals and amid growing regulatory scrutiny, Facebook is looking to make sure it addresses ethical issues earlier in the design and engineering processes.

Details: The responsible innovation team that Krieger joins is not new, but has been growing in both size and importance.

  • The team is responsible for developing methods, tools and training that help address potential issues while products are still in the design and development phase. 
  • While Krieger helps manage the company's responsible innovation team, ultimately the unit (and Krieger) report to Margaret Stewart, vice president of product design, who oversees the broader Responsible Innovation and Design Core team.
  • Krieger's background also includes time in both the State and Defense Department, as well as nearly a decade as a journalist, serving as a correspondent for The Atlantic and Newsweek, among other publications.

What they're saying: Facebook confirmed Krieger's hiring to Axios.

"In this role, Zvika will support our teams very early in the product development process of new technologies and throughout the product development lifecycle to anticipate and minimize potential harm and ensure we are building responsibly. He will also oversee the development of training and educational resources focused on best practices and implementation."
— A Facebook representative said in a statement

The big picture: The goal of the responsible innovation effort, as Facebook sees it, is to add a dose of healthy skepticism alongside the optimism it still believes is needed for innovation.

  • CTO Mike Shroepfer talked about the vision at last year's F8, saying that the company learned a lot of painful lessons and needed to do a better job of anticipating the potential for misuse and other harms invited by new products. "We have to take those considerations in mind with every new thing we build," he said.

Go deeper: Facebook sharpens political ad rules ahead of 2020

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

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