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New actions on TikTok, WeChat ‘important steps’ against China: Atlas Organization founder

Facebook doesn’t have much room to ask for a break. Despite launching Facebook Lite earlier this week, the company announced some new crackdowns on its competitor, TikTok, as well as the selfie app WeChat. Considering that the U.S. is more politically polarized than ever, the two steps by Facebook is just the beginning.

Instead of continuing to be a publicly traded entity, the company is putting itself up for sale. Facebook launched new restrictions on what videos can be posted, and, to counter CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s bevy of whiteboard memos, started admitting its mistakes by implementing new Instagram Safety Check features.

Regardless of one’s opinion on the future of Facebook, a complete overhaul of the platform will not happen overnight.

Facebook is facing backlash for its lack of transparency related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, its treatment of users, and Russia’s participation in the 2016 election. The recent meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin only shows how deep the problem of transatlantic distrust has become. As was reported by the BBC, even Russia was worried about the implications of the meeting.

“Do you know that just over 60 people from the US and Russia worked on this [Trump] election campaign? And the Russians were tracking this campaign in general?” a Russian official said. “This is so scary. We have to stop using American platforms to monitor our election process.”

The history of Facebook doesn’t leave one hopeful of a quick fix.

“I think we have a long way to go,” said Atlas Organization founder and CEO John Borthwick. “Every conflict of interest or conspiracy theory or celebrity controversy raises questions about how this company operates, but at the end of the day, it’s still a global company operating in this massive market that has a scale of a few million users that absolutely dwarfs Google’s [by 2 trillion].”

Borthwick does see major steps taken by Facebook as “important steps,” however.

“I’m very pleased, if what I’m hearing from Elon is accurate. I think this is good for us. I think it’s good for the user, that’s how [Facebook] will ultimately prove itself, in my view,” Borthwick said.

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