Facebook finally seems to be coming to grips with a simple fact: Some people just don’t trust it. That might be why some users saw a poll this week that said: “We’d like to do better. Please agree or disagree with the following statement: Facebook is good for the world.” Users can then pick options ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
It’s a rare moment of self-reflection and vulnerability for the company, which until this year has largely ignored or deflected criticisms regarding its role in the world. Now, however, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has loudly made it his personal mission for his company to “do better.”
“The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do,” Zuckerberg said last month. “Whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
There’s good reason for Facebook to be concerned about its reputation. Young users are leaving the platform in droves, and the company has increasingly faced criticism from lawmakers, the public and tech insiders alike. One tech CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, even said this week that Facebook is “known to be one of the most evil companies in the world.”
It’s unclear how asking people if Facebook is good will help the company change, but at least it seems to be aware of its own problems.
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