This article was published on January 5, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg vows to ‘fix’ Facebook — does he know what’s broken?

Mark Zuckerberg vows to ‘fix’ Facebook — does he know what’s broken?

Mark Zuckerberg today posted his annual New Year’s resolution post on Facebook, and this time he’s using it to address the elephant in the room — namely, Facebook’s bad publicity in 2017.

In his post, Zuck vows to “focus on fixing these important issues.” So what are the issues he’s talking about?

Just to recap the things that concerned everyone the most in 2017, it was the year we learned Facebook’s influence could be used for destructive ends — or rather, the year it was concisely demonstrated to us. From political ads to Live crimes to former employees expressing concern over its effects, Zuckerberg’s not kidding when he says the topics he means to address would have to encompass “history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology.”

Zuckerberg addresses the issues only vaguely, naming no particular scandal. He says:

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

Noble intentions for sure, but Zuckerberg hasn’t indicated how he plans to address these issues. While I’ve no doubt the company can address superficial concerns as they happen (that Russian propaganda tool, for example), I’m reserving judgement until we hear something more concrete than a New Year’s resolution.

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