Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday issued a statement in the form of mea culpa, recognizing in particular “mistakes” made by the social giant in the hunt for problematic content (hateful speech, fake news…) that abound on the platform, mistakes to which he promises to remedy in 2018.
The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his personal page.
“My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues. We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we’re successful this year then we’ll end 2018 on a much better trajectory,” he added.
The social network, which claims more than 2 billion users worldwide, was the focus of criticism in 2017, for its lack of actions against problematic content, such as hate speech, terrorism or fake news.
The charges were brought against Google and Twitter. The inaction of these major social networks have taken a very political turn in the United States since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, with Russia being accused by Washington of having sought to influence the campaign using, between others, social networks to broadcast fake news.
“This may not seem like a personal challenge on its face, but I think I’ll learn more by focusing intensely on these issues than I would by doing something completely separate. These issues touch on questions of history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology. I’m looking forward to bringing groups of experts together to discuss and help work through these topics,” says the billionaire.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, today, many people no longer believe in the idea that technology can put some power in their hands. “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,” he says. “I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services,” he added.