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Will Facebook ever make cars? Social media giant's COO Sheryl Sandberg responds

Many companies from Silicon Valley such as Google, Apple are developing autonomous cars, either alone or in collaboration with others

September 15, 2017 / 10:28 AM IST
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks during the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 14, 2017. - UP1ED9E0OEU8R

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks during the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 14, 2017. - UP1ED9E0OEU8R

“We’re the only company in Silicon Valley that’s not building a car,” announced Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg addressing an audience comprising Germany’s powerful automakers on Thursday.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of Frankfurt Motor Show Sandberg declared the ‘good news’ amidst laughter. At the show, she also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Many companies from Silicon Valley such as Google, Apple among others are developing autonomous cars either alone or in collaboration with others.

Facebook is sponsoring a “new mobility world” at the Frankfurt show that brings together carmakers, tech companies and start-ups in areas such as autonomous driving and electric cars, reported Reuters.

Facebook, this week, tightened its advertising rules regarding its target audience and to ensure that no hateful messages are displayed. This step was prompted after journalists inquired about ads which targeted Jew haters.

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ProPublica, a nonprofit outlet based in New York, said it found the topics such as “Jew haters” and “how to burn Jews” in Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform. The anti-Semitic categories were created by an algorithm rather than by people. Some 2,300 people had expressed interest in them.

These steps by Facebook were taken at the same time when its COO was in Germany attending a marketing conference. Incidentally, Germany in June enacted a law which makes social media networks responsible if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly. The law has a provision of fines up to USD 59 million.

(With inputs from Reuters)
first published: Sep 15, 2017 10:28 am

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