Date
20 July 2018
Facebook has made “too many errors” in relation to enforcement of policies and preventing misuse of the social network’s tools, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged. Photo: Reuters
Facebook has made “too many errors” in relation to enforcement of policies and preventing misuse of the social network’s tools, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged. Photo: Reuters

Zuckerberg’s 2018 goal: ‘fix’ Facebook

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that his goal for 2018 is to “fix” several important issues related to the company’s business.

“The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on the social media network, Reuters reports.

In a break with his longstanding practice of setting a purely personal annual goal, the Facebook chief said his resolution for this year is to focus on issues such as protecting the community from abuse and hate, and defending against interference by nation states.

Facebook is standing at a crossroads that requires his attention, Zuckerberg suggested. 

“We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse,” he wrote, “but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools.”

The comments came as a new law in Germany requires social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to remove online hate speech or face fines.

In the US, lawmakers have criticized Facebook for failing to prevent Russian operatives from using its platform to meddle in the 2016 US elections, Reuters noted.

In addition, ex-Facebook executives have publicly questioned whether using the network leads to unhealthy behaviors.

Zuckerberg said his “personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues”.

He said in the post that the current national mood resembles that of 2009, when he mounted his first personal challenge by wearing a tie every day, the Wall Street Journal noted.

At the time, the US economy was in the midst of recession and Facebook, then five years old, wasn’t profitable.

“It was a serious year, and I wore a tie every day as a reminder,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Today feels a lot like that first year.”

Many people have lost confidence in tech giants’ ability to level the playing field, he said.

“With the rise of a small number of big tech companies—and governments using technology to watch their citizens—many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it,” Zuckerberg wrote.

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RC

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