Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s 2018: We’ve changed, we promise

Mark Zuckerberg in happier times, two years ago.

James Martin

It’s nearly the new year, which means time for reflection on what’s happened and what’s to come. For Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, that means looking back on one really tough year.

The 34-year old wunderkind cofounder struggled against what is arguably the toughest in the 14 years since founding Facebook in his Harvard dorm room.

There was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, followed by Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill, then a massive hack affecting 29 million people. And don’t forget the bombshell report from The New York Times questioning both Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg’s leadership. In just a short couple years, Zuckerberg has gone from possible presidential contender to a parody on SNL. It’s been rough.

In his year-end post, Zuckerberg is optimistic, if a little defensive. He ticks off changes the company’s made — or, as he puts it, “We’ve fundamentally altered our DNA” — to focus more on handling the bad stuff that happens on Facebook, from Russian interference in our elections to stopping harmful and bullying posts to promising to give people more control over their data. He also noted that Facebook now has 30,000 people working on safety and harassment issues, and Facebook’s investing billions of dollars in security each year.

He also acknowledged that these issues will take more than a year to fix. But he said the company’s started multi-year plans to address them. That doesn’t mean he thinks Facebook is fully on the ball. “In the past we didn’t focus as much on these issues as we needed to, but we’re now much more proactive,” he wrote.

“I’ve learned a lot from focusing on these issues and we still have a lot of work ahead,” Zuckerberg added. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in 2018 and grateful to everyone who has helped us get here — the teams inside Facebook, our partners and the independent researchers and everyone who has given us so much feedback. I’m committed to continuing to make progress on these important issues as we enter the new year.”

Read Zuckerberg’s full post below.

The Honeymoon Is Over: Everything you need to know about why tech is under Washington’s microscope.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data mining scandal.

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