German prosecutors on Friday launched an investigation into Facebook Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and other company officials amid accusations of inaction over hate speech, news report said.
“Prosecutors in Munich are investigating Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and other officials amid allegations that the social media giant has systematically failed to remove posts that incite hatred,’’ it reported.
The news came amid widespread alarm in political circles at the increasing volume of hate speech on social media, especially since the arrival of almost 900,000 migrants in 2015.
The U.S. Justice Department had in July filed a petition in court to force Facebook (FB, Tech30) to comply with an ongoing IRS investigation into whether the company significantly understated the value of property transferred to an Ireland subsidiary as part of a complex manoeuvre to reduce its tax payments
The issue dates back to 2010, according to the IRS, when Facebook shifted the rights for its worldwide business, excluding the U.S. and Canada, to Facebook Ireland, including certain hard to quantify assets like its “user base, online platform and marketing intangibles.”
The IRS came to believe that Ernst & Young, the accounting firm tasked with valuing the assets in this transfer, may have “understated” the worth of these intangibles by “billions of dollars,” according to a copy of the legal filing provided to CNNMoney.
The IRS has been working to gather information on the 2010 agreement for years, with limited cooperation.
Nina Wu Stone, an investigator with the IRS, had noted in one of the filings that she issued six summonses in June for Facebook to produce records related to the asset transfer but Facebook failed to comply with those requests.
Nigeria is one of the countries where Facebook has many subscribers.