Facebook CEO: “We’ve Made a Bunch of Mistakes”

MASHABLE.COM In his first comment since the privacy controversy of recent weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the company “made a bunch of mistakes” and wants to “get this stuff right this time” (Update: Zuckerberg has posted additional thoughts on privacy).

Zuckerberg has been criticized from some corners for a lack of communication on Facebook users’ privacy concerns, and a public comment from the CEO hasn’t been forthcoming. Today’s concession isn’t a public apology; rather, Zuckerberg replied to a private e-mail from tech enthusiast Robert Scoble, who then requested permission to reprint Zuckerberg’s response on his blog.

Zuckerberg’s reply has some merit to it: Facebook wants to respond to the dust-up with a product fix. Rather than simply telling users what he intends to change, he’d rather go ahead and make that change.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s reply in full:

We’ve been listening to all the feedback and have been trying to distill it down to the key things we need to improve. I’d like to show an improved product rather than just talk about things we might do.

We’re going to be ready to start talking about some of the new things we’ve built this week. I want to make sure we get this stuff right this time.

I know we’ve made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve.

I hope we’ll get a chance to catch up in person sometime this week. Let me know if you have any thoughts for me before then.


From a PR perspective, Zuckberg’s approach has not been a good one. Facebook’s lack of direct response has made it seem that Facebook either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about user concerns around privacy. If Facebook does indeed share user concerns and will soon make changes — as Mark promises — a very early mea culpa and increased communication with the press may have saved Facebook from a great deal of criticism.

In short: It’s great that Facebook is looking to improve its privacy settings, but explaining these moves earlier and more publicly may have been preferable.

We’ll have to wait and see whether Facebook’s updates calm tensions around the company’s privacy stance. My take: As important as the issue may seem right now, the privacy dust-up will eventually blow over and Facebook will continue its relentless march to win the web.

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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