Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in a new interview with Vox that it will likely take years for his company to fix problems related to election meddling, privacy violations and other ways it has negatively impacted society. “I think we will dig through this hole, but it will take a few years,” he said in the interview.
“I wish I could solve all these issues in three months or six months, but I just think the reality is that solving some of these questions is just going to take a longer period of time,” Zuckerberg went on.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook’s current problems are in part due to the fact that the company was primarily focused on connecting people during the first decade of its existence, without paying enough attention to negative side effects.
However, he reiterated that Facebook had begun to tackle these problems last year, including through hiring more people working on security — a measure that Zuckerberg previously singled out as something that could impact Facebook’s bottom line.
Zuckerberg also used his interview to push back against recent criticism from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who had blasted Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Distancing Apple from Facehook and its ad-supported business model, Cook recently said during a MSNBC townhall: “The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer, if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.”
In his Vox interview, Zuckerberg responded: “I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth.” He went on to argue that Facebook was serving many users who couldn’t afford paying for premium services, and that companies charging users for services weren’t necessarily better. “I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you,” he said.