Mark Zuckerberg thinks this is the biggest misconception about him

The Facebook CEO wants be understood rather than liked.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
Queenie Wong
2 min read

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a lot of critics. 

James Martin/CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg  faces a lot of heat about his leadership of the social network. But he wants the public to know that he didn't start the company to make money.

"I didn't get into this because I was trying to build a business or sell a bunch of ads or make money," Zuckerberg said Friday at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. "I happen to think that advertising is a great model so we can offer everyone a service for free."

Zuckerberg, who said this week that his goal over the next decade is to be understood rather than liked, was asked what he wanted people to know about him. His remarks come the same day that the company's motives were questioned by billionaire philanthropist George Soros. 

In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Friday, Soros alleged that Facebook and President Donald Trump were working together. "I believe that Mr. Trump and Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, realize that their interests are aligned -- the president's in winning elections, Mr. Zuckerberg's in making money," Soros wrote. Facebook denied the allegations. 

Though Zuckerberg didn't specifically mention Soros in his remarks, he said some people assume all companies are concerned only with making money. He said some people ignore the obvious approach the company takes to "smear" Facebook.

Unlike Twitter, which bans political ads, Facebook has stood by its decision to not fact-check political ads. The company says people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. 

Zuckerberg said Friday that he was standing up for the idea of giving everyone a voice, and making sure smaller businesses have the same tools as larger ones. 

"This is the new approach, and I think it's going to piss off a lot of people," Zuckerberg said. "But, frankly, the old approach was pissing off a lot of people too. So let's try something different."