Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Mark Zuckerberg vows to fix Facebook in new year's message

Mark Zuckerberg vows to fix Facebook in new year's message

Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg sets a personal challenge at the start of every year and in 2018 that challenge includes a cryptocurrency mention.

"My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues". So what are the issues he's talking about? This year it's, well, being better at his job.

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Exploring the technology for Facebook services, Zuckerberg added, "There are important counter-trends to this -like encryption and cryptocurrency - that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands". "But they come with the risk of being harder to control".

The billionaire Facebook boss has publically announced a New Year's Resolution every year since 2009, challenging himself to wear a tie every day, learn to speak Mandarin and eat meat only from animals he killed himself.

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Facebook, like other tech giants, has long maintained that it is essentially politically neutral - the company has "community standards" but no clearly articulated political orientation. Besides focusing on the underlying technology of Bitcoin, Mark Zuckerberg has not indicated any plans to invest in Bitcoin as of yet. That first year the economy was in a deep recession and Facebook was not yet profitable.

Zuckerberg's new year's resolution - a tradition for the executive who in previous years has pledged to learn Mandarin, run 365 miles, and read a book each week - is a remarkable acknowledgment of the bad year Facebook has had.

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Lauded for its ability to create valuable, global peer-to-peer networks, Zuckerberg called cryptocurrencies one of the most interesting questions in technology right now. (The first four words of Facebook's mission have always been "give people the power".) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force. Primarily its problems with abuse and hate, foreign state interference (like Russia) and the fact that more and more people are idly scrolling, which research shows can have a negative impact on mental health. "With the rise of a small number of big tech companies and governments using technology to watch their citizens many people now believe technology only centralises power rather than decentralises it". "I'm convinced that what the company is working on has the potential to materially change the lives of people around the world, and I'm looking forward to working with Coinbase and its leadership team to help make this vision a reality".

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