by Graham Pierrepoint
It can hardly be understated – a time without the influence and presence of Facebook is one which is now far behind us, and mystifying to those of us who regularly use it and have done so since its launch in 2004. A generation of people growing up now will never have known life without it – and, love it or hate it, or even find it a little bit scary, it has largely become socially expected for most people to have some sort of profile on the big F. Over a billion people actively use the service – and with big name brands and growing businesses using social media outreach to revolutionize the way they market to their audiences, it’s not hard to understand why Facebook is still seen as incredibly pivotal to our wider culture. However, there are elements which have drawn criticism over the years – and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has addressed some concerns in a recent new year address.
Posting on his own Facebook page, Zuckerberg made a frank statement that made it clear where he wishes the brand and network to go in 2018. “The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot to do (…) 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.”
Watch: Facebook Founder Zuckerberg Vows To Fix Social Media Platform ▶
Zuckerberg has acknowledged in recent times that action needs to be taken to crack down on abuse and bullying that is growing on social media such as his own brand – and that the phenomenon of fake news that spread across 2017 is now a legitimate concern. This comes after a mass of fake pages and accounts supposedly linked to Russia were launched ahead of 2016’s US Presidential Election – something that Facebook has since been very open about with Congress. Beyond this, Facebook is now actively filtering out more advertisements than ever – and with Twitter likewise taking a stance on online bullying and hate speech, it is high time that the social network to end them all took a firm stand against some of the negativity that has perpetuated via social media over the years. Zuckerberg is right – work needs to be done – and for those of us still actively using the service, we can start by tuning up our privacy measures and being mindful of what we publicly share – as social media continues to evolve into the new year.