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Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018.

CHARLES PLATIAU/Reuters

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called on Saturday for regulators to play a “more active role” in establishing rules that govern the internet, as the world’s largest social-media network struggles to defuse criticism.

Mr. Zuckerberg, whose company is under pressure for failing to adequately police content and protect user privacy on its platform, wrote in a Washington Post article that a “standardized approach” for removing content would help keep internet companies “accountable.”

“By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it – the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things – while also protecting society from broader harms,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote.

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His comments followed a Washington Post report saying the U.S. government and Facebook were negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine settlement over the company’s privacy lapses.

Mr. Zuckerberg also called for updated legislation focused on protecting elections, including new rules aimed at online political advertising that “reflect the reality of the threats” faced by social-media companies.

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies say Russian internet trolls helped spread divisive content and disinformation on Facebook in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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