Mark Zuckerberg began 2018 vowing to “fix Facebook”. Three months in, after one of the worst weeks in the company’s history with $60bn wiped off its market value, that job is more urgent than ever.
Since the election of Donald Trump, the Facebook co-founder has been on the defensive over the proliferation of fake news and targeted political adverts on the platform. He initially dismissed the idea that content on the site influenced the election as a “pretty crazy idea”.
He now faces a more fundamental challenge: to restore trust in the social network. The revelations that Cambridge Analytica, the data company hired by Trump’s campaign, had obtained Facebook data harvested from 50m people and allegedly used to target voters in the US have triggered questions about the protection of privacy. They have also magnified calls for tougher regulation that could potentially hamper the group’s business model.
Read more: Financial Times