Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news plenty over the last few months.
It started with the current political climate and his viability as a candidate for president in 2020. If a reality TV and real estate mogul could do it, why not a tech billionaire?
Locally, we had Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan invite him to town in celebration of OC’s Facebook page reaching the one million “Likes” milestone. (The offer is still on the table, Mark).
Most recently, Zuckerberg’s social network has come under fire for its role in the sacred electoral process. As we continue to learn more details regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Zuckerberg made it known that Facebook is doing something about it.
“First, let me say this,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook Live video from his Menlo Park office, “I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity. Facebook’s mission is all about giving people a voice and bringing them closer together. Those are deeply democratic values and we’re proud of them. I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. That’s not what we stand for.”
Facebook’s role – albeit as an unwilling partner, rather than an active agent – in a foreign power’s attempt to undermine those democratic values is what has Zuckerberg in hot water. While he isn’t promising an end to all interference – “that wouldn’t be realistic,” he says – he promises that it’s going to be harder for those with sinister online agendas to try.
Zuckerberg outline nine steps his team is taking over the next few months to ensure the political process in the United States isn’t influenced by Facebook advertising. We’ve broken them down for you below:
Obviously, Zuckerberg’s hand is being forced a bit here – both by the court of public opinion, and undoubtedly behind the scenes by elected officials in Washington. That said, Facebook’s CEO seems genuinely committed to protecting the way users are delivered political content on his social network.
Whether that’s through false information, or simply a debate that gets too out of hand in the comments section, changes are coming for Facebook, and we’ll start seeing them long before the 2020 proceedings begin – perhaps with Zuckerberg himself on a ticket?