Zuckerberg's Yom Kippur Message: Forgive Me, and Facebook

Not everyone is buying his sincerity, though
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2017 5:03 AM CDT
Zuckerberg's Yom Kippur Message: Forgive Me, and Facebook
In this June 21, 2017, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during preparations for the Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Like other Jews during Yom Kippur, Mark Zuckerberg tried to atone for his sins and made a plea for forgiveness over the weekend, Reuters reports. Unlike most other Jews, he asked forgiveness from millions of people—not just for his personal mistakes, but also for his social media platform. "For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better," he wrote in a Saturday evening Facebook post. "For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better." Vanity Fair notes that his head-hanging is "vague," but that "it looks like his Yom Kippur confession is an apology for enabling Trump"—meaning Zuckerberg probably was referencing the ways tech companies like Facebook and Twitter contributed to the "fake news" phenomenon and perhaps had an impact on the election.

Vanity Fair notes Zuckerberg's mea culpa also shows he's ready to come clean on the role Facebook may have played, including initially being dismissive of fake-news warnings and unwittingly enabling Russian interference efforts via thousands of divisive ads. The magazine also holds his feet to the fire, asking, "What does it mean when he says he will 'work to do better,' though?," wondering if that means he'll be "less laissez-faire" about such issues. Josh Constine at TechCrunch concurs, noting that while he believes Zuckerberg's apology was "genuine," it may also be seen as politicizing the holiday and trying to fend off criticism (of which he lists a couple of scathing examples). "The path forward isn't through faux-neutrality or forgiveness, but clear admission of malfeasance and demonstrable change," Constine writes. (Zuckerberg recently pushed back on Trump's "collusion" claim.)

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