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Zuckerberg reveals New Year's pledge - to fix issues with Facebook

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Like many much less successful people, Mark Zuckerberg has made a new year's resolution.

It is clear that the social network lost its way, as the Menlo Park-based company struggled with missteps, such as being embroiled in accusations it was part of the Russia-driven "fake news" scandal.

Zuckerberg seemed to make reference to these critiques in his New Year's announcement, promising to focus, as he put it, on "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent".

"My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues", he wrote in a Facebook post.

Indeed Zuckerberg's previous challenges to himself have been relatively low key compared with his 2018 goal - to "fix" Facebook.

Clearly, Zuckerberg and his company needs to fix the damage to its reputation, which he attributes to "too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools", as in the company's confusing policy monitoring hate speech.

Zuckerberg visited every USA state, ran 365 miles and learned Mandarin since he first started doing these annual challenges in 2009.

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This starts like a typical new year post. Facebook declined to make Zuckerberg available for an interview.

On Thursday (4 January), he wrote on his own timeline that his latest personal feat will be to ensure his website stays relevant - and safe - in a world that he claimed feels "anxious and divided". He recalled how some years back, Facebook was not yet a "sustainable business model".

The first four words of its mission may be "give people the power", but the full sentence says Facebook's mission is to "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together". The bottom line is that the company will have a lot of needle-threading to do during 2018.

"I like the idea of "decentralising" power", one person commented on the post. And while the platform has more than 2 billion users, there is nothing to guarantee they will stay and keep using Facebook as much as they do now if they feel depressed, lied to with fake news and hoaxes and manipulated by foreign powers.

However, encryption and digital currency have the power to counter this trend, and Zuckerberg said he would explore how to use them at Facebook. 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 centralizes power rather than decentralizes it. I'm looking forward to bringing groups of experts together to discuss and help work through these topics.

"I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services", Zuckerberg continued.

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