Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California (Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg)

Zuckerberg Asked If Lack of Diversity Hobbled Facebook on Russia

(Bloomberg) -- Lawmakers’ questions for Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday included whether a lack of diversity among Facebook Inc. workers left the social media giant blind to Russian attempts to inflame minority groups during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"I’m concerned that there are not eyes that are culturally competent looking at these things," said Representative Yvette Clarke, a New York Democrat. She asked whether “the lack of diversity -- culturally competent personnel in your C-suite and throughout your organization" -- kept Facebook from detecting Russian attempts to incite racial and religious divisions.

"I agree that we need to work on diversity,” Zuckerberg replied. "In this specific case I don’t think that that was the issue.” Facebook was “‘frankly slow” in identifying “the whole Russian information operation and not just that specific example,” he said.

Facebook will seek to address the issue by identifying foreign actors and keeping them from running political ads, Zuckerberg said.

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