We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Mark Zuckerberg has made it his 2018 personal challenge to do some social media management and address the societal concerns raised by the company he founded.
Over the past several years, Zuckerberg has taken on personal challenges such as learning Mandarin and reading and discussing important books.
But this year, he’s working against a backdrop of concerns about Facebook’s role in Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and former executives sounding the alarm about the damaging effects of social media on society. So it’s not surprising he’d make his resolution about social media management.
Zuckerberg writes on Facebook:
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.
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.
This may not seem like a personal challenge on its face, but I think I’ll learn more by focusing intensely on these issues than I would by doing something completely separate. These issues touch on questions of history, civics, political philosophy, media, government, and of course technology. I’m looking forward to bringing groups of experts together to discuss and help work through these topics.
Victoria Turk, writing in Wired, has a skeptical take:
What’s missing is any indication of how Zuckerberg actually intends to tackle the major issues he identifies, which it has so far failed to solve. What is the company going to do differently in 2018? By what measures is Zuckerberg going to judge if it is successful?