Having faced major trust issues and allegations of the privacy breach in 2018 over the manner in which Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) handled the personal data of 2.2 billion users all over the world, Zuckerberg once again defended his company’s business model in the Wall Street Journal op-ed while elaborately explaining how the world’s largest online social platform operates.
In the recent past, the networking giant has been accused of selling user data to advertisers, serving them harmful and misleading content and even affecting the electoral results owing to which users have started avoiding this popular platform. While some have taken the extreme step of deleting the Facebook app from their mobile phones, others have taken a sabbatical from the site or adjusted their privacy settings in the wake of all these scandals and controversies.
Zuckerberg emphasized that his company respects “the most important principles around data are transparency, choice and control.”
He also denied having shared or sold users’ data while also dismissing charges of serving divisive and misleading content.
“We don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do,” he wrote in his 1,000 word long opinion piece on Thursday.
Facebook Stand on Sharing Data with Advertisers
In his well-articulated piece, the Facebook CEO tried to undo some of the damage to his company’s reputation by clarifying his stance. He admitted to collecting user data for advertising but not without adding that doing so was necessary for their own safety and to keep their services operative.
“Based on what pages people like, what they click on, and other signals, we create categories and then charge advertisers to show ads in that category,” he wrote.
Zuckerberg also added that users have complete control over the information they share with his site and also the right to block out any unwanted advertisers. He also mentioned that his company completely understands that sharing their site users’ personal data or their preferences with advertisers would be detrimental for them in the long run and that they are committed to safeguarding their users’ privacy.
According to him, his site is completely transparent about its advertising policy and the users can always find out why they are seeing a particular advertisement. They also have the option to block out unwanted ads by flagging them as unwanted, repetitive or inappropriate.
Zuckerberg Denies Indulging in Clickbait
The 33-year-old billionaire Facebook founder went on to assert that his company had never indulged in clickbait and ‘other junk’ which would bring forth only short term engagement.
Amidst strong criticism from various quarters, the CEO reiterated his company’s commitment to ridding Facebook users’ feed of all misleading and harmful content. While adding that such content is neither endorsed by advertisers nor desired by users, it continues to exist because “the people and artificial-intelligence systems we use to review it are not perfect — not because we have an incentive to ignore it. Our systems are still evolving and improving.”
The social media giant which will turn 15 next month has also been accused of sharing users’ personal messages with large technology companies like Netflix and Spotify without their permission even after it tightened its privacy rules in 2014-15. Facebook has denied this allegation too.