As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testifies before Congress for the first time, he accepted that the company didn’t do enough to prevent the platform from being used to harm others.
In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg, said, “Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all of the good that connecting people can do. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools for being used as harm as well.”
“That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I’m sorry,” the 33-year-old executive said.
His apology came after Facebook is embroiled in a widening scandal that a British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed Facebook information on 87 million users, up from a previous estimate of more than 50 million.
“Now we have to go through our — all of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. It’s not enough to just connect people. We have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to give people a voice. We have to make sure people aren’t using it to harm people or spread disinformation,” he added.
He said that he was committed to getting this right.
He added the company was getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected.
“What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed information by buying it. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us they had deleted the data,” Zuckerberg cleared.
He said that the company made big changes in the platform in 2014 that have prevented this specific situation with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again today.
“But there’s more to do. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together,” he said.