Facebook is rarely accused of humility. But even the world’s biggest social network has been aware it has an image problem. The Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal and the company’s inability, or unwillingness, to stop people from disseminating poisonous information on everything from terrorism to self-harm have created a reputational challenge.

So it was logical, when Facebook launched an ambitious effort last week to diversify from communication into finance, that the company chose to spin its Libra initiative as a munificent effort to end world poverty and usury...

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