The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has admitted that the social network hosts “misinformation and even misleading content” and has pledged to invest more to try to offer users truthful information, following the controversy over the role of Facebook in the outcome of the US elections
The company has been harshly criticized for the possible impact that its information algorithm – with the dissemination of fake news and polarized content – has had on the outcome of the election of Donald trump as president of USA.
In a letter with a messianic tone of almost 6,000 words, the executive has recognized that the social network is no longer just a meeting place for friends and family, but a source of information and public discourse that requires new standards.
Zuckerberg has highlighted that false news and information filters that reduce the diversity of points of view accessed by users of social networks were “the two most discussed problems last year“.
“The veracity of the information is very important. We are aware that there is misinformation and even clearly misleading content on Facebook. (…) Last year, the complexity of the problems we had to tackle surpassed the existing processes of community governance, “he stressed.
Zuckerberg has recognized “errors” such as the removal of the iconic photo of the Vietnam War in which a naked girl appears or the videos denouncing police abuses against the African-American population, as well as the misclassification of political content.
“We have to mitigate the powerful effects of sensationalism and polarization that lead to a loss of consensus,” he asserted.
Facebook, he said, will invest more in trying to offer users truthful information and a wider range of perspectives, a “more complete picture” with a broad spectrum of opinions, than in censoring misinformation. In addition, he stated that the social network will launch more initiatives to promote a strong press.
The manager has detailed in his letter the “long-term” roadmap of the social network, in which artificial intelligence and user self-regulation are very present, and whose philosophy he summarizes in “building a social infrastructure for the community global”.
A strategy that will pursue, he has specified, five objectives: to promote social cohesion, contribute to a more informed society, make the world a safer place, encourage civic and political commitment and create a more inclusive network.
Zuckerberg aspires for his community to have a “positive impact” on the world, strengthen consensus, and reduce dissent and isolation.
“In times like these, the most important thing we can do at Facebook is develop a social infrastructure that allows people to build a global community that serves us all. … Facebook doesn’t have all the answers, but I’m convinced we can play a role“, has defended.
According to Zuckerberg, his network could contribute to making the world a safer place thanks to artificial intelligence, since it has the potential to anticipate movements that are going to take place and thus identify mental health risks – prevent suicide, for example – diseases. or crimes.
“Problems such as terrorism, natural disasters, disease, refugee crises or climate change need coordinated and global responses. No nation can solve them on its own. … Humanity’s current systems are insufficient to address these issues“.
“The step forward we need to take is to recognize that a global community needs a social infrastructure to keep us safe from global threats and our community is uniquely positioned to prevent disasters, assist during crises and rebuild afterward. Keeping the community safe global is part of our mission, “he continued.
Among Zuckerberg’s future wishes is that Facebook will enrich the ties of physical communities and promote greater citizen participation in politics and society.
In addition, it has advanced that it will be the users who customize the conditions of use of the platform -related to matters such as content in which there is nudity, violence, explicit content, obscenity or blasphemy- based on their preferences.