Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution: Fix Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution: Fix Facebook

(CBS News) - Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution is to fix Facebook. He wrote in a post on the social media platform: "We currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools." The Facebook CEO has been setting yearly personal challenges since 2009. He previously ran 365 miles, traveled across the country, and learned Mandarin, reports CBS News' Vladimir Duthiers.

Zuckerberg founded Facebook with the hope that it would help bring people closer together, but his latest post acknowledges his company at times has caused divisions.

"Facebook has a lot of work to do," he wrote, "whether it's protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent."

Zuckerberg spent much of 2017 on the defensive. He initially dismissed the idea that "fake news" on Facebook helped elect President Trump as "crazy." But then was forced to backtrack.

"Our teams have found and shut down thousands of fake accounts that could be attempting to influence elections," Zuckerberg said in September.

"I think he's come to notice the ways that his technology is changing the world in kind of huge, shattering ways," said New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo. "He's committing himself in a very personal way and suggesting that he's personally responsible."

Zuckerberg's Thursday post also acknowledged the perception Facebook may now be too big and too powerful.

It's a sentiment shared by venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook vice president.

"If you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you," he said in November. "It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave, by and between each other."

Members of Congress agreed.

"You've created these platforms and now they are being misused and you have to be the ones to do something about it. Or we will," said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"I think this could also be an effort to head that off, to try to say, 'We're kind of policing ourselves…You can hold off on policing us,"' Manjoo said.

Zuckerberg offered few specifics on how he plans to accomplish his latest personal challenge. One thing he said he would do was convene groups of experts to help him work through the issues. He also will look at how encryption and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin might be used to improve Facebook's services.

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