Each year, the Facebook boss takes on a challenge to complete over the year. For 2018, he has promised to try and fix his company.
Previous challenges have all been outside of Mr Zuckerberg’s work at Facebook: he ran 365 miles, built a special AI to control his home, read 25 books, learnt Mandarin and visited every US state. The latter challenge even suggested that he was looking outside of Facebook for new work, bringing rumours that he was planning a run for president.
He said that he had made the decision to concentrate on his own company this year because the world was so divided and he thinks he will “learn more by focusing intensely on these issues than I would by doing something completely separate”.
The commitment comes after Facebook has been blamed for helping spread hatred and division in the wake of the election, as well as potentially helping with the spread of fake news that allowed it to tip in Donald Trump’s favour. Even the site itself has admitted that it can be upsetting and disruptive for those who use it, in a press release that said using the site might be bad for you.
The new commitment appeared to suggest that Mr Zuckerberg was taking some responsibility on behalf of his company for those problems. “This will be a serious year of self-improvement and I’m looking forward to learning from working to fix our issues together,” he wrote.
He pointed to the fact that the rise of tech companies like Facebook and their increasing power over the internet meant that the internet was becoming centralised in a few powerful hands. He pointed to other technologies like cryptocurrency as challenges to that, but said that overall people had “lost faith” in the power of the internet to decentralise things.
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