(File) Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, attends an award ceremony for rural teachers organised by the Jack Ma Foundation, in Sanya, Hainan province, China Jan 22, 2018. Source: Reuters

Jack Ma weighs in on Facebook’s user privacy woes

JACK MA, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on Monday called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “fix” the social networking website over the privacy leaks that affected millions of users around the world.

Weighing in on the scandal which saw the personal details of Facebook users being leaked to Cambridge Analytica, the research firm which helped US President Trump during his election campaign, Ma said Zuckerberg should address growing criticism against Facebook, Bloomberg reported.

“It is the time to fix it. It is the time for the CEO to really take it seriously. I think the problems will be solved,” Ma said during the annual conference on the sunny island of Hainan.

Zuckerberg on Monday swapped his trademark T-shirt and jeans for a dark suit and a purple tieas he met US lawmakers to apologize for the social network’s misuse of its members’ data and to head off possible regulation.

His apologies came amid two days of congressional hearings this week, where Zuckerberg will be asked how 87 million Facebook users’ data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks to a meeting with Senator John Thune (R-SD) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2018. Source: Reuters

He will also likely face questions about ads and posts placed by Russian operatives, in what US authorities believe was an attempt to influence the US 2016 election.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake,” he said in written remarks released by the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.

“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”

Without mentioning his personal views on the Facebook scandal in detail, Ma said the social media website was still valuable and that its problems arose due to its meteoric rise over the past decade.

“We should not kill the company because of these problems,” Ma said.

“I will say, Facebook 15 years ago, they never expected this to grow like that. All the problems they could not realize came up.”