Facebook caused controversy last summer when it announced it was planning to use information from its WhatsApp messenger to influence the advertisements displayed on your News Feed.
In comments on Facebook, some users praised Zuckerberg's note for staying positive, while others declared "globalism" dead. Zuckerberg noted that people are more connected than ever, but elements of "divisiveness and isolation" have challenged the potential for Facebook to create a positive impact on how we communicate.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook could move far beyond its roots as a network for friends and families to communicate, suggesting that it can play a role in five areas, all of which he referred to as "communities", ranging from strengthening traditional institutions, to providing help during and after crises, to boosting civic engagement.
If you have patience and time, you can read Zuckerberg's full-length letter here.
Zuckerberg also addressed fake news-once a term used by the media to describe fictitious or misleading news stories, which has since become a catch-all term embraced by the left and the right to denigrate reporting that contradicts their partisan outlook. "There are questions about whether we can make a global community that works for everyone, and whether the path ahead is to connect more or reverse course". "The best solutions for improving discourse may come from getting to know each other as whole people instead of just opinions - something Facebook may be uniquely suited to do". "It is our responsibility to amplify the good effects and mitigate the bad", he wrote, vowing to take more journalistic responsibility for fact-checking what gets shared online. The company eventually introduced new features to fight misinformation, though by December, it was too little, too late.
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He also addressed critics who believe that Facebook has not done enough to combat fake news, including posts that some people said influenced the presidential election - an idea Zuckerberg previously called "pretty insane".
Implementing a system like this on a social network with more than 1 billion users will take many years to fully develop, according to Zuckerberg.
In a long letter on his Facebook page Thursday, Zuckerberg lamented the rise of isolationism and the backlash against globalization. Numerous issues that Zuckerberg addresses in his letter are problems that people have pointed out to the company for years.
To classify the objectionable content, the Menlo Park-based company will use artificial intelligence and it wants to start with the cases in 2017. Perhaps that is something Zuckerberg and company can work on next.