Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has set forth his new year resolution for 2018. Recently he announced that his “personal challenge” for 2018 would be “to focus on fixing these important issues”. By this, he meant that his goal for 2018 was to put forward the business he had co-founded on a more solid footing, and this was his break from his long-standing practice of setting a purely personal annual goal.
In his recent post, the social media honcho and of the world’s wealthiest people wrote that “The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do”. In the previous years, his new year resolutions included learning Mandarin, reading two books a month and traveling to U.S. states he had not yet visited.
This year his post mainly spoke about Facebook standing at a crossroads that required much of his attention. He further cited the spread of hate speech on social media, usage of Facebook by Russia and other countries to disseminate propaganda and criticism that might prove the platform to be an addictive waste of time.
In lieu of this, it needs mentioning that as per a new law in Germany, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are required to remove online hate speech or face fines. Even in the United States, lawmakers have criticized Facebook for failing to prevent Russian operatives from using its platform to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. In addition to this, ex-Facebook executives have publicly questioned whether using the network leads to unhealthy behaviors.
Zuckerberg said his “personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.” He also added that the pledge “may not seem like a personal challenge on its face,” but that he would definitely learn a lot. He specifically did not mention what he would do.
The post also included writings like “We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools.”
Here, Zuckerberg has acknowledged that the problems facing a platform with 2 billion users “touch on questions of history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology” and also said that he planned to consult with experts in those fields.
But the second half of Zuckerberg’s post, in which he discusses centralization and decentralization of power in technology, actually poses a picture of Zuckerberg’s general approach.This includes proposing technological solutions to political problems. If Zuckerberg would have been interested in the decentralization of power, he might wish to address his company’s pattern of aggressively acquiring its competitors or simply copying their features.