Speed Reads

that's one way to spin it

How Mark Zuckerberg is spinning Facebook's really bad year

Facebook has had a rough 2018. But you wouldn't get that impression from Mark Zuckerberg's year-end message.

In a Friday post, the Facebook founder and CEO recounted his "personal challenge" of "preventing election interference, stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation," and other goals throughout 2018. And despite dozens of reports suggesting Facebook is going through an extended rough patch, Zuckerberg said he's "proud of the progress we've made" in the past year.

Of Facebook's many 2018 gaffes, one particular lowlight was a breach that exposed 50 million users' personal data. That major hack didn't get a mention in Zuckerberg's message, but he did vaguely say the company "invest[s] billions of dollars in security yearly."

He did, however, hone in on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which let user information be used to influence the 2016 election. Zuckerberg said Facebook "reduce[d] the amount of information apps can access" and is building a "Clear History tool that will give people more transparency into their browsing history" — a tool Facebook once promised would be ready months ago.

Zuckerberg also discussed how Facebook "built AI systems to automatically identify and remove" harmful content and worked on "identifying the fake accounts and coordinated information campaigns" that drive election interference. But fixing all of Facebook's flaws "is more than a one-year challenge," Zuckerberg said, adding that some of these "problems can never fully be solved."

There's no mention of Zuckerberg's Jan. 4 pledge to "fix" Facebook in this year-end post, which you can read at — where else? — Facebook.