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Facebook Names First Ever Chief Compliance Officer as Social Media Giant Faces Regulatory Scrutiny

© AP Photo / Matt RourkeIn this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile device in Philadelphia
In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile device in Philadelphia - Sputnik International
The social media giant has faced numerous accusations from top lawmakers in recent years, including anti-competitive behaviour, the acquisition of competitors, and censoring or pushing specific political recommendations on its platform

Facebook revealed on Friday that it's hired its first chief compliance officer amid increasing scrutiny from government regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Henry Moniz is set to join the team on 8 February and will oversee the social media company's compliance team. Moniz previously worked as chief compliance officer and a regulatory executive for media company ViacomCBS, and will become the first person to hold the new position at Facebook.

The newspaper reported that Moniz will be subordinate to Facebook's general counsel Jennifer Newstead, and be answerable to a board committee responsible for the company's audit and risk.

“The current regulatory environment demands strong compliance leadership, and Henry will play a key role in driving our ongoing commitment to continually strengthen our global compliance and risk management functions," Newstead said in a statement.

With Moniz's appointment, Facebook reportedly hopes it can move closer towards its state aims of increasing global compliance and risk management, while leading the way in promoting legal and ethical behavioural standards.

While Facebook has a compliance group, Moriz will be the first officer tasked specifically with overseeing audit and regulation. 

This comes as Facebook faces mounting pressure from lawmakers and government functionaries over global issues relating to personal privacy, fair competition, and taxation.

Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts issued a letter to the social media company earlier this month raising concerns about the site recommending political groups to users despite key figures in the company pledging to stop doing so, raising doubts over Facebook's compliance.

“These findings cast serious doubt on Facebook’s compliance with the promises you have publicly made to me and to your users," Markey said.

The Democratic lawmaker made reference to CEO Mark Zuckerberg's statement to a Senate committee that Facebook had “taken the step of stopping recommendations in groups for all political content on social issue groups."

In December, the UD Federal Trade Commission and a number of US states filed lawsuits against Facebook, accusing them of using a “buy or bury” strategy to soak up competition and prevent the emergence of industry rivals.

Facebook has been accused of buying up its competition – it snapped up messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.

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