The CEO will focus on solving issues confronting the social network, including Russian interference, the spread of hate, and harassment and abuse.
“We needed to get serious.”
That’s the message from Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who kicked off 2018 with an open letter in which he pledged to fix the myriad of issues that have flared up in the past year.
The first step this year concerns his own attention, which will be more wide ranging than managing decisions and shaping the company’s rules. That includes bringing “groups of experts together,” he said in the post Thursday.
“These issues touch on questions of history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology,” he added.
The post caps a tumultuous 2017 for both Facebook and Zuckerberg personally. It began with Zuckerberg’s dismissiveness about Facebook’s role in spreading false information that helped Russia meddle in the 2016 election, and ended with representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter telling lawmakers their respective services had in fact been twisted into tools of propaganda.
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has promised to tackle this issue. In November, he lent his voice to new initiatives from the company to expand the reach of community service organizations across Facebook’s more than 2 billion monthly active users. In September, he posted a video outlining his plans to thwart election meddling. And in August, he spoke out against hate groups on Facebook’s service as they were being shut down.
“We may not be able to solve every problem, but we all have a responsibility to do what we can,” he said in a post at the time. “I believe we can do something about the parts of our culture that teach a person to hate someone else.”