Embattled Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post over the holiday week that he was “proud of the progress” Facebook has made to prevent election interference, stop the spread of hate speech and misinformation and ensure more people have control over their personal data.
“We’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago,” wrote the CEO of the world’s largest social media network with more than 2 billion users. “To be clear, addressing these issues is more than a one-year challenge. For some of these issues, like election interference or harmful speech, the problems can never fully be solved.”
Zuckerberg used the blog post on Facebook to highlight some of the improvements it has made to address scathing criticism of the misinformation, hate speech and manipulation taking place on Facebook. Multiple scandals in which users’ personal information was accessed without their permission or knowledge has tarnished Facebook’s reputation. In the post, Zuckerberg said Facebook has “fundamentally altered our DNA to focus on preventing harm in all our services,” noting the company has shifted a big portion of its work to prevent harm, including a team of 30,000 dedicated to working on the platform’s safety along with billions of dollars in investments.
Zuckerberg said that to prevent election interference Facebook has improved systems for identifying fake accounts and coordinated information campaigns, removing millions of fake accounts each day. The company also partnered with fact-checkers in countries around the globe to identify misinformation. Facebook also created a a new standard for advertisers so anyone can see all the ads an advertiser is running and created an independent election research commission to study threats, Zuckerberg wrote.
On the topic of harmful content, Facebook said its employing an AI system to identify and remove content related to terrorism and hate speech before anyone sees it. As for being more transparent about how Facebook handles data, Zuckerberg said it reduced the amount of information a app can request about a users and rolled out new controls to ensure it is in compliance with new data protection laws outside of the U.S.