Mark Zuckerberg began the year by promising to make Facebook safer from election interference around the world. He has spent most of the rest of the year apologizing for not recognizing the problem earlier. On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, published a roughly 3,300-word blog post cataloging all the steps the company has taken. “In 2016, we were not prepared for the coordinated information operations we now regularly face,” he wrote, alluding to Russian interference in the American presidential election. “But we have learned a lot since then and have developed sophisticated systems that combine technology and people to prevent election interference on our services.” “Today, Facebook is better prepared for these kinds of attacks,” he added.
The unusual post is an answer of sorts to Facebook’s controversy-ridden last 18 months and reflects how Mr. Zuckerberg has staked his reputation on reducing the disinformation, divisive messages and false news that have spread on the site. While the chief executive often takes to his personal Facebook page to write short notes about the company, he said this month that he would publish pieces looking more in depth at issues facing it, starting with a post about securing elections worldwide.
In April, Mr. Zuckerberg testified in Congress about Russian manipulation of Facebook before the 2016 election, with lawmakers grilling him on the company’s lack of awareness of the misuse. Since then, he has grappled with reports of disinformation campaigns on his platform in countries ranging from India to Mexico. And last week, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also showed up in Congress to talk about foreign interference on her company’s site.