Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to face Oireachtas Communications Committee in Dublin tomorrow

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg facing questions at the US Congress last year

Politicians will question Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on online safety and regulation when they meet him tomorrow in Dublin.

Three members of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, James Lawless, Eamon Ryan will raise a number of concerns with Mr Zuckerberg including; the regulation of social media, transparency in political advertising and the safety of young people and vulnerable adults.

Ms Naughton who chairs the committee welcomed the fact that the billionaire CEO now wants to engage with policy makers after he refused to appear before the International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News which she also sits on.

We want to hear what he has to say, we have a role to play in Ireland and we can be leaders in the area of safety and regulation but we also have to look at how we regulate on an international level, it is the world wide web after all.

Fianna Fáil TD Mr Lawless said he would be explaining legislation he has drafted to tackle deliberate use of multiple fake accounts or bots for political purposes and which puts regulations in place around paid political advertising. He said he would be pressing Mr Zuckerberg around harmful content and how decisions are made on whether posts should be banned, deleted or kept up online.

Meanwhile, Facebook is to begin explaining to users why they are seeing certain posts on their news feed in an attempt to make the platform easier to understand.

The social network has announced it is to start offering users a "why am I seeing this post?" tab, which they can click on to see how Facebook's algorithms decided it was a relevant post.

The site has also announced an update to its advertising tools which will enable users to more transparently see how they were targeted by an advertiser on the site.

Both tools will be accessible from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of any post or advert on the news feed of the social media platform.

The new news feed tab will show a user's recent activity that helped the site's algorithms reach its decision, including any links or interactions with the posting account and if they have a history of reading posts from that account.

Facebook said the new feature was designed to help users "better understand and more easily control what you see from friends, pages and groups in your news feed".

The firm also announced it was updating its similar "why am I seeing this ad?" tool so that users can see how advertisers can use existing customer lists to show adverts to people on the platform.

Advertisers are able to upload lists of existing customer information - such as email addresses or phone numbers - to help target their advertising.

Facebook said this process takes place without revealing any identifiable information but added the new tool would more clearly show how this process took place.

Ahead of the European Union elections due to take place in May, Facebook has already said any advertisers in the EU will undergo tighter checks, which will require documents confirming their identity and location to be submitted, amid fears of foreign interference.

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