STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Mark Zuckerberg's goal for 2018: 'Fixing' Facebook

Each year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives himself a personal challenge. ...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 9:41 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 9:41 PM

Each year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives himself a personal challenge. Run one mile a day. Read a book every other week. Eat only what he kills.

For 2018, however, Zuckerberg is essentially challenging himself to do better at his day job.

Zuckerberg said Thursday his personal challenge for 2018 is working to prevent Facebook from being misused in ways that potentially do harm to its billions of users and to society at large.

"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," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. "My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues."

Zuckerberg continued: "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."

The admission of Facebook's shortcomings in protecting its platform, and Zuckerberg's goal to double down on addressing them, comes after a bruising year for the company.

Related: Silicon Valley's 'gut-wrenching' year confronting its dark side

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, has come under fire since the 2016 presidential election for its role in spreading fake news, enabling polarizing filter bubbles, and not catching Russian propaganda campaigns.

Late last year, executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google were grilled by Congress over their role in the 2016 election. Some in Congress raised alarms about the immense power of these platforms and their seeming inability to police themselves.

There have also been troubling headlines for Facebook from abroad. Facebook has been described as enabling ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. And Facebook's WhatsApp was cited as a cause of beatings in India after a fake news story went viral on the messaging service.

After years of maintaining an unwavering optimism about the social network, Zuckerberg and other Facebook insiders have been forced to confront the dark side of what they built.

In one remarkably candid post for Yom Kippur last year, Zuckerberg apologized for "the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together."

Acknowledging a problem is one thing, finding a solution is another.

In the post Thursday, Zuckerberg admitted Facebook's problems 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," he said.

The New Year's challenge is just the latest example of a shift in Zuckerberg's public posture about Facebook. In the first days after the 2016 election, Zuckerberg dismissed as "crazy" the idea that fake news on the social network influenced the outcome.

Yet, Facebook spent much of 2017 trying to address exactly that concern. The company waged a global fight against fake news by cracking down on tens of thousands of fraudulent accounts, partnering with fact checkers and running full-page ads in newspapers with tips to spot fabricated stories.

Zuckerberg also made it his personal challenge for 2017 to break out of the Silicon Valley bubble and meet with people in every state. The move fueled speculation Zuckerberg wanted to run for president, but some in the tech industry instead saw it as an attempt to assess the unintended consequences of his company.

"Zuck isn't running for President," Nathan Hubbard, a former Twitter executive, tweeted last June. "He's trying to understand the role the product he created played in getting this one elected.

Terre Haute
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Robinson
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Rockville
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Casey
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Brazil
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Marshall
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Storms Possible
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 151572

Reported Deaths: 7329
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook940054676
Lake10175427
DuPage9502483
Kane7971281
Will7120322
Winnebago3143101
McHenry2208100
St. Clair2128144
Kankakee134465
Unassigned1170210
Rock Island110730
Madison109570
Kendall102423
Champaign101017
Boone62921
Peoria60929
DeKalb60220
Sangamon49333
Jackson34519
McLean30115
Randolph2927
Ogle2834
Stephenson2826
Clinton24417
Macon24222
LaSalle23917
Whiteside20315
Union19619
Coles18817
Grundy1875
Iroquois1705
Tazewell1648
Knox1520
Monroe14713
Warren1470
Adams1421
Williamson1394
Cass1367
Morgan1323
Jefferson11317
Lee1042
Henry1031
McDonough10315
Vermilion852
Pulaski790
Marion770
Montgomery641
Macoupin623
Perry601
Douglas550
Livingston542
Jo Daviess491
Christian484
Jasper477
Ford421
Woodford412
Franklin400
Jersey381
Bureau312
Menard280
Mercer280
Washington250
Cumberland240
Fayette233
Johnson230
Mason230
Wabash230
Alexander220
Carroll212
Clark210
Piatt210
Effingham201
Shelby201
Bond191
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Crawford180
Logan180
De Witt160
Edgar160
Fulton160
Massac150
Wayne151
Schuyler130
Marshall120
Saline110
Brown100
Greene80
Henderson80
Lawrence80
Richland80
White80
Hamilton70
Stark60
Pike50
Gallatin40
Clay20
Edwards20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Out of IL11
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193