Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution: No more yearly difficulties


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Mark Zuckerberg, providing a keynote at some point after his individual difficulty to improve at public speaking.

James Martin

One might argue that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has sufficient difficulties currently. Which is most likely why he revealed Thursday he will not be restoring his yearly “individual difficulty” this year.

Zuckerberg’s individual difficulties, which encountered as equivalent parts genuine New Year’s resolutions and negative PR tactics to make him appear more personalized, have actually been a yearly custom for the 35-year-old Facebook co-founder for more than a years. In the past, he’s pressed himself to find out to hunt and cook, to learn more books and to enhance his public speaking.

“My goal was to grow in new ways outside my day-to-day work running Facebook,” Zuckerberg composed Thursday on — where else? — his Facebook profile. “Outside Facebook, I’m a father now and I love spending time with my family, working on our philanthropy, and improving at the sports and hobbies I’ve picked up over the years. So while I’m glad I did annual challenges over the last decade, it’s time to do something different.”

Zuckerberg stated he likewise prepares to focus his efforts on the bigger concerns he and his groups have actually been dealing with. Among them, he restated his strategy to produce a much better type of governance for Facebook, consisting of an independent oversight board individuals can interest when issues about complimentary expression and censorship turn up. Think of it as a web variation of the Supreme Court. 

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“This decade, I hope to use my position to establish more community governance and more institutions like this,” Zuckerberg wrote. “If this is successful, it could be a model for other online communities in the future.”

Facebook didn’t respond to a request to make Zuckerberg available for an interview.

The end to the annual personal challenges comes at a time when Zuckerberg’s facing more scrutiny than ever. Facebook, the social networking company he helped build, attracts about 2.5 billion people to use it each month and also owns subsidiaries like the photo-sharing social network Instagram and the text message replacement service WhatsApp. It continues to struggle amid scandals over election interference, propaganda, data privacy and corporate malfeasance.

As a result, Facebook is being scrutinized by regulators and lawmakers around the world concerned about potential incidents like the Cambridge Analytica data leak of up to 87 million people’s private Facebook information, Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election or Facebook’s own “determining role” helping to fuel a crisis that led to genocide in Myanmar.

In his post Thursday, Zuckerberg acknowledged some of the criticism he and his company have faced, saying he’s handling much more “social responsibility” than he did when he first set out on these personal challenges a decade ago.

“This decade I’m going to take a longer term focus,” he wrote, noting his work on virtual reality, augmented reality, privacy and other issues. “Rather than having year-to-year challenges, I’ve tried to think about what I hope the world and my life will look in 2030 so I can make sure I’m focusing on those things.”