Zuckerberg asks forgiveness for division caused by Facebook

The apology comes as Facebook works to help investigators understand its alleged role in influencing the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong
2 min read
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On Saturday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sought forgiveness online for the way his social network was used to "divide people."

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To everyone who's been unhappy with Facebook , its CEO is saying sorry.

Mark Zuckerberg wrote an apology on Saturday, seeking forgiveness and repenting for the ways Facebook served to cause division. The Facebook post was published on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

While he didn't specify which problems he was referring to in the post, Reuters and The Washington Post have speculated that Zuckerberg was talking about last year's US presidential elections, when Facebook was allegedly used to help sway votes in Donald Trump 's favor.

Facebook has also come under criticism for the hate speech and harassment that get channeled through its news feeds. It's a problem that afflicts other social media venues, most noticeably Twitter, but with its 1.3 billion daily users, Facebook has a reach like no other.

"For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better," Zuckerberg wrote in the 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."

Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, September 30, 2017

The social media behemoth has been working to atone for its missteps, helping investigators to find out more about the role it might have played in the 2016 election. Last month Facebook said it would hand over 3,000 ads with Russian ties to the US Congress to aid in investigations, and those ads will be handed over on Monday. Those developments follow the revelation that $100,000 worth of ads were sold to bogus accounts with possible Russian ties during the election.

Zuckerberg defended Facebook last week after President Trump accused it of being "anti-Trump." He also apologized for his "dismissive" response to the notion that Facebook had the power to influence the outcome, which he'd previously said was a "pretty crazy idea."

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