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Report: Facebook Hired Firm to Smear Critics

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and head working officer Cheryl Sandberg, were both so set on developing the organization that they "ignored warning signs and then sought to hide them from public view", the report said.

But Facebook disputed claims that it used the firm in a nefarious way.

The Times, Facebook said, was "wrong to suggest that we ever asked Definers to pay for or write articles on Facebook´s behalf - or to spread misinformation".

In a blog post Thursday, Facebook said there were "a number of inaccuracies" in the story, but also said it cut ties with the opposition research firm.

"The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company", Facebook said. "You are no doubt also aware that much of this hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information is spread via Facebook", Gaspard wrote in the letter, under the headline, "Facebook's Smear Campaign Against George Soros".

"I learned about this yesterday", Zuckerberg said.

Sputnik: What do you make of the accusations against George Soros and how justified are they? "I'm not going to know what every single person here is doing".

However, an analyst for the financial services company Morgan Stanley has said that Apple's caution in regard to production rate and sales figures has hit the stock price harder than it should have, and that investors should continue to trade optimistically in the tech giant.

Sheryl Sandberg was seething.

Saudi prosecutor reveals who gave order for Khashoggi’s killing
The kingdom also confirmed Turkish claims that a 15-man hit squad was sent to Turkey, and that these agents killed Mr Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post , was killed on October 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

"We've acknowledged publicly on many occasions-including before Congress-that we were too slow to spot Russian interference on Facebook, as well as other misuse", Facebook said in a statement that rebuts the major accusations in the story.

"I understand that a lot of D.C. -type firms might do this kind of work", said Zuckerberg. "But to suggest that they knew about Russian interference and either tried to ignore it or prevent investigations into what had happened is grossly unfair". Following the Times investigation, Facebook ended its relationship with Definers, Facebook said in a blog post Thursday.

"The entire discussion around Facebook's disclosures of what happened in 2016 is very frustrating".

In his letter, Open Society president Patrick Gaspard says he "was shocked to learn from the New York Times that you and your colleagues at Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to stir up animus toward George Soros".

Facebook confirmed Mark Zuckerberg's beef with Apple CEO Tim Cook in an official company statement.

At the same time, the report said, Facebook also lobbied the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Jewish civil rights group to cast some of the criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

Soros, who is often the target of anti-Semitism, has been critical of Facebook before.

"I think we should probably take a bunch more questions", the embattled Facebook CEO said, despite the fact that the call was scheduled to end a few minutes later.

The world´s most popular social media platform has been on the back foot for months, including over the allegation that data from millions of Facebook users was abused by the consultancy Cambridge Analytica to help drive Donald Trump to the White House.

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