Zuckerberg’s post, which runs in excess of 3,000 words, follows intense criticism of Facebook for its failure to combat misinformation and propaganda spread on the platform during the 2016 election. According to the New York Times:
The unusual post is an answer of sorts to Facebook’s controversy-ridden last 18 months and reflects how Mr. Zuckerberg has staked his reputation on reducing the disinformation, divisive messages and false news that have spread on the site. While the chief executive often takes to his personal Facebook page to write short notes about the company, he said this month that he would publish pieces looking more in depth at issues facing it, starting with a post about securing elections worldwide.
In April, Mr. Zuckerberg testified in Congress about Russian manipulation of Facebook before the 2016 election, with lawmakers grilling him on the company’s lack of awareness of the misuse. Since then, he has grappled with reports of disinformation campaigns on his platform in countries ranging from India to Mexico. And last week, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also showed up in Congress to talk about foreign interference on her company’s site.
The social media company has beefed up its response through automation and hiring an additional 10,000 people to try and police bad information, the Times reports.
These are incredibly complex and important problems, and this has been an intense year. I am bringing the same focus and rigor to addressing these issues that I’ve brought to previous product challenges like shifting our services to mobile. These issues are even harder because people don’t agree on what a good outcome looks like, or what tradeoffs are acceptable to make. When it comes to free expression, thoughtful people come to different conclusions about the right balances. When it comes to implementing a solution, certainly some investors disagree with my approach to invest so much in security.We have a lot of work ahead, but I am confident we will end this year with much more sophisticated approaches than we began, and that the focus and investments we’ve put in will be better for our community and the world over the long term.