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Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa via Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at a fireside chat at the Munich Security Conference, said that since 2016, Facebook has "played a role in helping to defend the integrity of" more than 200 elections around the world.

Why it matters: On top of growing revenue and the number of users on Facebook, Zuckerberg also has to ensure that the platform is not blamed for negatively influencing elections and does not buckle on freedom of speech.

What he's saying: Zuckerberg said the successful techniques have included "developing AI systems that can identify fake accounts and networks of accounts."

  • "In the last couple of weeks, we took down one that was coming out of Russia [targeting] Ukraine, and one coming out of Iran that was targeting the U.S."
  • Zuckerberg said the majority of the more than 1 million fake accounts Facebook takes down each day aren't connected to state actors interfering with elections. They're spammers.
  • "One of the things that we are tracking that we have been quite worried about is that increasingly, election interference ... is ... also domestic. You have ... local actors also trying to employ some of the same tactics. ... We have also seen these actors get more sophisticated at trying to hide their tracks."

Zuckerberg said a big Facebook transformation in the last few years has been "from being more reactive about addressing content-type issues to being more proactive":

  • "I started the company in my dorm room. Back then, we could not have 35,000 people doing content and security review. The AI. 16 years ago, did not exist ... to identify this type of harmful stuff."

"Hate speech is a particularly challenging one," he continued. "We have to be able to train AI systems to detect ... nuances. Is someone posting a video of a racist attack because they are condemning it ... or are they encouraging other people."

  • "Multiply ... that subtlety, linguistically, by 150 languages around the world where we operate."

Go deeper: Facebook executive argues digital ads got Trump elected

Go deeper

Mitt Romney calls Ray Dalio's China investments a "sad moral lapse"

Sen. Mitt Romney walks to a Senate Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 7. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday criticized billionaire Ray Dalio's investments in China, writing in a tweet that "his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."

Driving the news: Romney's comments come after Dalio's firm, Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, raised $1.3 billion in November for a new private fund in China, Bloomberg reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.