A normally reclusive Mark Zuckerberg sat down for an interview with Axios that was aired on HBO this week where the CEO seemed to be reflective about his company’s role in the political process.
"I really used to believe that the product by itself was everything, right? "And that if we built a good product, it didn't matter how we communicated about what we did.
“I just wish that I'd spent more time earlier on communicating about what our principles are and what we stand for — you know, things like free expression and voice and that we're going to defend those,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg was grilled during the big tech congressional hearings on Capitol Hill last month and Facebook seems to be bending over backwards in order to avoid a repeat of the vitriol that has been aimed its way following the 2016 election.
This time around, Facebook announced that it will pay selected users up to $120 to deactivate their accounts at the end of September as part of a study into the impact of social media on elections. Facebook says that it expects between 200,000 and 400,000 participants in the study.
Whether these steps are enough to satisfy critics remains to be seen, but in the meantime Facebook seems to be stepping out of the way of the political process this time around.