FACEBOOK CANCELS EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Facebook has cancelled its upcoming event in Cape Town, South Africa scheduled for October 3rd, 2019 due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. It is unclear, however, if the cancellation is related to the attacks on foreign businesses that has rocked South Africa in recent weeks.
“Due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel the Facebook ID8 event in Cape Town on October 3rd, 2019. We hope to bring the event to the region later in the year,” Facebook said. The social media company which connects over 139 million in Africa organised the event for developers and businesses to learn about Facebook’s new technologies and products.
Facebook has grown its influence in Africa since it opened its first African office in South Africa in 2015. It has continued its quest to connect the next billion users by providing free access to the internet for users in Africa with its Free Basics platform. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has also been criticised and questioned over the use of its platform for spreading misinformation and the use of user data. No African country has held Mark Zuckerberg’s company to account, especially in the wake of the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook has tried to deal with misinformation, especially in view of how it could affect the democracy of African countries. The tech company banned several accounts spreading misinformation, embarked on advertising campaigns on how to fact check news and also teamed up with a number of third-party fact-checkers.