Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, delivered a genuine and candid response to reporters in light of recent data misuse that affected millions of users. His frankness in his response to privacy concerns showed signs of maturity in the executive who founded the social media mega-network on the basis of a “get the girl back” scenario. Far overreaching mere growing pains, Facebook has a hurdle to jump in reassuring users that data privacy issues are being addressed in the aftermath of scandal.
Highlights include Zuckerberg’s admission to his mistake in dismissing fake news on Facebook, its overarching impact on elections, and the social network’s deletion of troll accounts linked to the Russian organization, IRA. Moves such as these may have been a band aid in a wound still making America sore, but it was a move in the right direction.
Improper data use by Cambridge Analytica was addressed as well. Zuckerberg went on to explain that the 87 million users whose data was compromised was a maximum figure, aimed at maintaining a transparent dialogue with the social media’s base. Shutting down scammer accounts, which collected data through the rapid cycling of IP addresses, also showed signs of solidarity to user privacy.
Addressing a question as to whether or not Zuckerberg would step down as chairman of Facebook, he responded in way that befitted the fact that he is, after all, human: “Life is about learning from the mistakes and figuring out what you need to do to move forward.” And moving forward is always a step in the right direction.
Lessons learned, humility, and apologies are not simply buzzwords that wash away the fact that Zuckerberg made mistakes, and hugely impactful ones at that. These attributes of the CEO’s response do, however, show clear signs of opening up an important and philosophical dialogue: what is a greater sacrifice, privacy or progress?
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