Despite the myriad challenges confronting Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is trying to put a positive spin on 2018.
In an end-of-year post, Facebook’s cofounder-CEO points to several accomplishments, including the company’s crackdown on political disinformation during the U.S. midterm elections.
“For preventing election interference, we’ve improved our systems for identifying fake accounts and coordinated information campaigns that account for much of the interference -- now removing millions of fake accounts every day,” according to Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg also touted a broader shift to prevent bad actors from using Facebook’s immense platform to harm others.
“We’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago,” Zuckerberg said. “We’ve fundamentally altered our DNA to focus more on preventing harm in all our services, and we’ve systematically shifted a large portion of our company to work on preventing harm.”
To that end, Zuckerberg says Facebook is now spending billions of dollars on safety and security measures every year, including the employment of more than 30,000 safety specialists.
As he often does when making such statements, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook’s faults will take years to fully address; today’s efforts can’t correct yesterday’s mistakes.
Regarding Facebook’s accomplishments, he said: “That doesn't mean we’ll catch every bad actor … or that people won’t find more examples of past mistakes before we improved our systems.”
Unfortunately for Facebook, a great deal of attention has recently been paid to those mistakes.
For example, The New York Time recently foundthe tech titan shared far more data with business partners -- like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, and Spotify -- than users were aware.
In response, Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships at Facebook, insisted users were made aware of such data-sharing partnerships.
Adding to Facebook’s tough 2018, several top executives fled the company’s family of platforms, while a former employee accused the tech titan of not doing enough to support African-Americans among its ranks. Not long after the allegations surfaced, the NAACP called for a boycott of Facebook’s top social platforms.
In addition, the NAACP said it returned a recent donation from Facebook, while it officially called on Congress to conduct further investigations into the company.Zuckerberg did not reference these issues in his year-end address.