It seems Mark Zuckerberg spent his Yom Kippur reflecting on the impact Facebook has had on the world.
As the Jewish Day of Atonement — the year’s concluding High Holy Day, observed one week after the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah — came to an end, Zuckerberg posted a raw and emotional message to Facebook asking the public for forgiveness.
“Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes,” Zuckerberg began. “For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better.”
The Facebook CEO went on to somewhat indirectly address the role his platform played in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, writing: “For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better.”
Over the past few months, Zuckerberg has come under fire for not taking more action to fight the spread of fake news on his platform during the 2016 campaigns. Zuck went so far as to deem any notions of Facebook’s connection to the political outcome “crazy” to protect his site’s reputation, but the controversy had recently escalated.
Last month, under a great deal of pressure, the CEO held a Facebook Live to address around 3,000 Russia-linked on-site ads that Facebook profited from — which may have aided Donald Trump’s win. Zuckerberg promised to turn the ads over to investigators, but decided not to show them to the public.
“We are increasing our investment in security and specifically election integrity,” Zuck said in his announcement. “In the next year, we will more than double the team working on election integrity. In total, we’ll add more than 250 people across all our teams focused on security and safety for our community.”
Since the CEO finally admitted to the possibility of Facebook’s involvement with Russian election interference, he has been invited to testify in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. However, Donald Trump recently claimed Facebook has always been “anti-Trump.”
In response to Trump’s tweet, Zuckerberg backtracked on his earlier election comments, showing a bit of remorse.
“After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea,” he wrote. “Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it. This is too important an issue to be dismissive.”
Closing his Yom Kippur post, Zuckerberg expressed the desire for a better future. So here’s hoping Zuck means what he says and that Facebook will continue taking steps to ensure subsequent elections aren’t influenced by nefarious users of the social network.