Just days after the 2016 Presidential Election, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that it was “pretty crazy” to think that his company had influenced the election’s outcome in a meaningful way. He’s had an about-face on that line of thinking since then, and at the end of Yom Kippur, he’s publicly asked for forgiveness “for those I hurt this year,” and pledged to do better.
Facebook has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks following revelations that Russian companies bought ads and organized pro-Trump rallies during the 2016 presidential election, and after it was discovered that hate groups could advertise to users who liked specific anti-Semitic categories. In his post, Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook has had a divisive effect on the country, and that he’ll work to do better in the coming year.
But as TechCrunch points out, Facebook itself needs to do better to improve its efforts in combating the spread of false information and abuse that appears throughout its platform. It and other social media sites have often touted themselves as a neutral platforms for all ideas and beliefs, but underestimate how these ideals can be undermined, which led to tangible impacts in the real world. Zuckerberg may be sincere in his intentions, but the company he founded needs to follow through on them.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for additional comment, and will update this post if we hear back.