On Mark Zuckerberg’s “personal challenge”

Some things you can’t, and shouldn’t, solve alone

Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook has “a lot of work to do” when it comes to harassment, election interference, and just making sure that it’s a meaningful platform to be on. So he’s making it his “personal challenge” for 2018 to “focus on fixing these important issues.”

Jacob Kastrenakes, “Mark Zuckerberg says fixing Facebook is his ‘personal challenge’ for 2018”, The Verge

Kastrenakes contextualizes and critiques Zuckerberg’s post quite nicely. But there’s one thing to emphasize: this can’t, and shouldn’t, be addressed merely as Zuckerberg’s personal problem. Many of the problems of Facebook and other platforms can be attributed, in part, to failing to incorporate the voices of those outside the privileged Valley elite of white men. Zuckerberg must make it more than his personal problem, because it isn’t really his problem; his platform’s pitfalls impact him far less than they do others. He should turn to those people in developing solutions—if it’s even possible to “fix” Facebook.1

  1. Zuckerberg says he’ll convene “groups of experts” to discuss these problems. I sincerely hope this includes the people affected by Facebook’s flaws. Furthermore, I hope those people are adequately compensated for their contributions.