But none of that matters if our services are used in a way that doesn’t bring people closer together or the foundation of our society is undermined by foreign interference. I’ve expressed how upset I am that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust. We built these tools to help people connect and to bring us closer together, and they used them to try to undermine our values. What they did is wrong, and we are not going to stand for it.
Now for those who followed Facebook, you know that when we set our minds to something, we’re going to do it. It may be harder than we realized up-front and may take longer and we won’t be perfect, but we will get it done. We’re bringing the same intensity to these security issues that we brought to any adversary or challenge that we have faced.
For Facebook, the crisis isn’t due to Russians tinkering with election sentiment. The crisis for Facebook is trust. You are the product. If you don’t trust Facebook’s information you may not engage as much. Facebook needs you to pass along information. The fact that there is shock — shock I tell you — over how Facebook can be used to manipulate the masses is almost comical. After all, those tools are the same reason marketers are fueling Facebook’s financial dominance over the ad industry (with Google of course).
But this rant isn’t an indictment of social media lemmings or Facebook’s controls or approach to ads. The Facebook conference call — and Zuckerberg’s solution to double headcount on security and throw humans at the fake news and trust issue — is really an indictment on its AI prowess. Facebook simply doesn’t have the tools or AI engineering to automate its way out of its mess.