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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
34 mins ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

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