Recognizing that the Pandora’s box he unleashed upon the world is rapidly destroying it, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has promised to “fix” the social media platform in 2018, which he says will include cleaning it up to remove all the “abuse and hate.”
Zuckerberg sees it as a personal challenge to make Facebook more beneficial to people’s lives as opposed to simply detrimental. In a recent Facebook post, the 33-year-old wrote that he wants 2018 to be a year of “self-improvement” for his baby, which apparently means addressing the many ways in which Facebook has failed to accurately and consistently enforce its user policies.
He describes Facebook’s current approach to policy enforcement as making “too many errors,” which presumably refers to the most recent election cycle when leftist news outlets accused Facebook of allowing “Russian hackers” to publish “fake news” in favor of Donald Trump. In responding to these claims, Facebook quickly stepped up its censorship game, adding Orwellian new “features” that some say are arbitrarily labeling certain conservative-leaning posts as “fake news.”
This has created even more ire, to the point that Zuckerberg himself is clearly starting to panic over the growing number of people who are abandoning the platform and returning to real life. Though he hasn’t laid out exactly what it will mean for Facebook to be revamped during this upcoming year, the young billionaire made implications that he hopes to bridge the gap between “left” and “right,” and help heal a broken nation.
“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 stated in his post.
“My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues. 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.”
Interestingly enough, Zuckerberg’s fortunes were made on the backs of allowing all sorts of information to creep into the social media platform. Roger McNamee, Zuckerberg’s ex-mentor, recently came forward to fess up about how Facebook has knowingly allowed certain “third parties” to creep in and spread propaganda, the purpose of which is to “drive people apart.”
In a recent essay, McNamee explained how the Facebook platform is “unguarded,” and that there are loads of digital “bots” – or fake profiles pretending to be real people – that troll the site for social engineering purposes.
Another major problem with Facebook is that its entire advertising model is built upon getting people addicted to using the platform, which in and of itself has created all sorts of “echo chambers” in which people live in their own digital realities. In other words, Facebook wouldn’t exist, and Zuckerberg wouldn’t be a millionaire, if not for all of these malignant “errors,” as Zuckerberg erroneously calls them.
“It reads like the plot of a sci-fi novel: a technology celebrated for bringing people together is exploited by a hostile power to drive people apart, undermine democracy, and create misery,” McNamee writes in his essay.
“No one stopped them from using free products to centralize the internet and then replace its core functions. No one stopped them from siphoning off the profits of content creators. No one stopped them from running massive social and psychological experiments on their users. No one demanded that they police their platforms. It has been a sweet deal.”
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