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

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

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 8:41 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 8:41 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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