MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pledging to rid his social network of all things bad, including trolls, purveyors of fake news, and other bad actors.
In a blog post, he accepted some responsibility for forces dividing people and says Facebook won’t “prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do.”
He says the solution lies in getting input from experts and says he plans to bring them together to discuss and help work through the problems.
Analysts aren’t surprised by the move and some say Facebook’s slowing ad growth (the result of the company's news feed ad load) and inability to curb troublesome content represents a serious threat to the company’s future – not to mention reports that heavy use of social networks contributes to social isolation and feelings of depression.
Last year, German officials vowed to fine Facebook and other tech giants more than $60 million if they can’t keep their networks clear of illegal content.
Even a former Facebook executive is sounding alarms on social media. Last month, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former vice president for user growth, said he has “tremendous guilt” over growing the social network, which he feels has eroded “the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.”
Palihapitiya added, “It literally is a point now where I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are.”
Facebook isn’t alone in the fight to improve social networking woes. Last month, Twitter began efforts to crack down on “hateful” content.