Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has set himself the ‘personal challenge’ of fixing Facebook this year, following a 2017 filled with criticism of the social network for its failures in stopping the spread of misinformation, letting Russia influence the major political events, and protecting its users from abuse and hate speech.
The challenge set by Zuckerberg follows on from other new year’s resolutions he has set himself down the years, including visiting every US state, running 365 miles, learning Mandarin, and more. His latest resolution may not be such a personal one, but it’s one that’s needed after the events of 2017 across social media.
“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,” said Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
“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.”
Zuckerberg’s decision to clean up his social network comes after a year of Facebook trying, and failing, to stop the spread of misinformation from a host of questionable sources. It also saw Facebook admitting to its failures when in keeping outside entities away from influencing major political events, as well as admitting its platform isn’t entirely great for people’s mental health and having problems with that in conjunction to live video.
Despite Zuckerberg stating he would like to fix his social network, he goes on to mention centralisation versus decentralisation, and his plans to explore the technologies behind things like encryption and cryptocurrency. How these things will help fix Facebook is anybody’s guess, but it shows the CEO may not be entirely focused on the true issues he states he is.