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Mark Zuckerberg vows to make Facebook serve user's best interest

Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to make sure Facebook serves users' best interests.

The co-founder of the social media giant made it his goal in 2019 to host public debates on technology.

During a visit to Harvard Law School on Thursday (20.02.19), Zuckerberg spoke with professor Jonathan Zittrain about the challenges they face with the content they choose to prioritise on people's newsfeeds.

He explained: "We come in every day and think, 'Hey, we're building a service where we're ranking news feed trying to show people the most relevant content.'

"[We make] an assumption that's backed by data that, in general, people want us to show them the most relevant content.

"But at some level you could ask the question which is, 'Who gets to decide that ranking news feed or showing relevant ads or any of the other things that we choose to work on are actually in people's interest?'"

The businessman previously revealed he wants to hold regular talks with industry experts and people from the online community to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of technology and how it will impact the world in the coming years.

In a lengthy statement, he wrote on his own Facebook page: "Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn something new. I've built an AI for my home, run 365 miles, visited every US state, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.

Last year, I focused almost all my time on addressing important issues around elections, speech, privacy, and well-being.

"Facebook is a different company now than it was a couple of years ago because of a much greater focus on these questions. These issues are complex and we will continue focusing on them for years to come.

There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology's place in it. Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? Should we decentralize authority through encryption or other means to put more power in people's hands? In a world where many physical communities are weakening, what role can the internet play in strengthening our social fabric? How do we build an internet that helps people come together to address the world's biggest problems that require global-scale collaboration? How do we build technology that creates more jobs rather than just building AI to automate things people do? What form will this all take now that the smartphone is mature? And how do we keep up the pace of scientific and technological progress across fields?

My challenge for 2019 is to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society -- the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties. (sic)"

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