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Facebook hires ex UK deputy pm Clegg to lead lobbying effort

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Facebook Inc hired Nick Clegg, Britain's former deputy prime minister, to run its global lobbying efforts, as governments around the world debate how best to regulate the social media giant.

[LONDON] Facebook Inc hired Nick Clegg, Britain's former deputy prime minister, to run its global lobbying efforts, as governments around the world debate how best to regulate the social media giant.

As leader of the Liberal Democrats, Mr Clegg was at the heart of the British government from 2010 to 2015. He's also a former member of the European Parliament who knows his way around the institutions of the European Union. His wife, Miriam, is Spanish, and he also speaks French, Dutch and German.

Mr Clegg's hire comes as Facebook is under fire from regulators, politicians and authorities around the world on issues ranging from user privacy breaches, to the proliferation of fake news and hate speech on its platforms.

Bringing a former local politician on board could especially help the Silicon Valley giant in the UK, where it is under investigation for letting the data of millions of its users end up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm working on Donald Trump's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

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"The company is on a journey which brings new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook's apps but to society at large," Mr Clegg wrote on his Facebook page. "I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey." His title at Facebook will be Vice President, Global Affairs and Communications.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote: "The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us though this time of change."

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