13:23 GMT +312 December 2017
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    US chairman and chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg gestures as he announces the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India in New Delhi on October 9, 2014.

    Overheard Over Microphone: What Zuckerberg Told Merkel at UN Summit

    © AFP 2017/ CHANDAN KHANNA
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    The German Chancellor and the Facebook CEO were heard talking on the sidelines of a UN summit on a topical issue – hate speech.

    Mark Zuckerberg assured Angela Merkel his company is making steps in countering the spread of extremist content over the social network.

    The head of the German government and the Facebook CEO were overheard over hot mics — live microphones — via a live broadcasting on the United Nation website on the sidelines of the UN development summit in New York this Saturday.

    Merkel addressed Zuckerberg on the issue of hate speech, a recent hot topic in Germany. and the Facebook CEO answered dubiously.

    “We need to do some work,” Zuckerberg said.

    “Are you working on this?” Merkel asked persuasively.

    “Yeah,” was the reply from Facebook’s founder.

    The start of the luncheon cut off the broadcast.

    The Chancellor seems to be concerned about combating hate speech on social media. She has recently commented on the issue to a local German newspaper.

    “When people stir up sedition on social networks using their real name, it’s not only the state that has to act, but also Facebook as a company should do something against these [people],” Merkel told Rheinische Post earlier in September.

    This comes on the tails of a recent meeting German Justice Minister Heiko Maas had with Facebook representatives in Berlin after a tide of xenophobic comments rocked German social media amid Europe’s refugee crisis.

    Facebook then reportedly responded it is set to improve the way it deals with xenophobic comments on its German website.

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    Tags:
    hate speech, social media, xenophobia, Facebook, Angela Merkel, Mark Zuckerberg, Germany
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