Mark Zuckerberg: Protecting democracy is “an arms race”
Ahead of the upcoming midterms, the Facebook CEO has penned an op-ed in the Washington Post highlighting the steps Facebook has taken to protect the election process since it was revealed how badly the platform was abused by foreign actors trying to influence the 2016 elections. In the op-ed, Zuckerberg wrote:
I’m often asked how confident I feel about the midterms. We’ve made a lot of progress, as our work during the French, German, Mexican and Italian elections has shown. In each case, we identified and removed fake accounts and bad content leading up to the elections, and in Germany we worked directly with the government to share information about potential threats. The investments we continue to make in people and technology will help us improve even further. But companies such as Facebook face sophisticated, well-funded adversaries who are getting smarter over time, too. It’s an arms race, and it will take the combined forces of the U.S. private and public sectors to protect America’s democracy from outside interference.
Zuckerberg also laid out the improvements the company has made to fight misinformation and outside influence. In his words, those improvements include:
Will these steps be enough? We’ll find out after the midterms on Tuesday, November 6. It also should be noted that Zuck’s latest op-ed is of a very different tone than the one he wrote in 2010, in which he admitted “sometimes we move too fast [with changes to Facebook].” In that op-ed Zuck promised the principles under which Facebook operates were solid, including “you have control over how your information is shared,” and “we do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want”–and we know how that turned out.
Sometimes moving fast can be a good thing.