Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has finally apologised after many people notice his lack of apology in first public address since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.
In case you missed all that has happened: after over one year of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, it turns out the mogul had one powerful help – Facebook.
Recent discoveries show that the most reverberating incident in a year of political tumult traces back to the ever growing influence of social media, after the suspended chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix admitted that his UK-based political consultancy’s online campaign played a decisive role in Trump’s 2016 election victory.
Nix’s comments are potentially a further problem for Facebook as it faces lawmakers’ scrutiny in the United States and Europe over Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of 50 million Facebook users’ personal data to target voters and swing the election in Trump’s favour.
And this discovery negatively affected the social media network’s shares, because, as at yesterday, the company lost nearly $50 billion of its stock market value.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said in a statement posted to his Facebook page, his first since the scandal broke.
“I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he continued. “I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community.”
While his statement added to the conversation, many people wondered why he didn’t apologise. Well, he finally did that during an interview with Laurie Segall on Anderson Cooper 360, and also said he regretted not being more forthcoming about the information breach.
“So this was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened. You know, we have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data. And if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg also agreed to testify in front of the Congress if invited. “So the short answer is, is I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do,” he said, however added that it would be more appropriate if someone else did that. “So what we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn. So if that’s me, then I am happy to go.”
Asked if he would accept to have Facebook regulated, he said, “I actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” Zuckerberg said. “You know, I think in general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world, and I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated?”
On the issue of election tampering, he admitted that Facebook was not prepared for the challenges the 2016 U.S. presidential election would bring. “I think what’s clear is that in 2016, we were not as on top of a number of issues as we should have, whether it was Russian interference or fake news,” Zuckerberg said.
Now, he promises that Facebook will do whatever is necessary to ensure the integrity of elections going forward. “We have a responsibility to do this not only for the 2018 midterms in the U.S., which are going to be a huge deal this year, and that’s just a huge focus of us, but there’s a big election in India this year. There’s a big election in Brazil. There are big elections around the world, and you can bet we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured,” he said.