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.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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