“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
This is what Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said in a testimony regarding the recent Cambridge Analytica blowup.
For this particular occasion, Zuckerberg swapped his trademark T-shirt and jeans for a suit on Monday as he met U.S. lawmakers to apologize for the social network’s misuse of its members’ data and to head off possible regulation.
His apologies precede congressional hearings this week, where Zuckerberg will be asked how 87 million Facebook users’ data was improperly shared with political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica. He will also face questions about ads and posts placed by Russian operatives in what U.S. authorities believe was an attempt to influence the U.S. 2016 election. These meetings include a session with Senator Bill Nelson (FL), the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee.
In his testimony, Zuckerberg said:
“It’s not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too. Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good. It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right.”
He later went on to add the remedial steps that Facebook is taking.