Zuckerberg Calls To Keep Building To ‘Bring People Together,’ Despite User Data Crisis

Zuckerberg Calls To Keep Building To ‘Bring People Together,’ Despite User Data Crisis

’s annual “F8” conference for developers started on Tuesday at a time when the social network is clamping down on tools for app makers in the wake of its recent data crisis. Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened the conference by assuring the several thousand developers in attendance in a San Jose, Calif. conference center that despite the challenges and intense scrutiny the company is facing around its ability to secure users’ data and protect the social network from bad actors, he is as dedicated as ever to building toward Facebook’s mission of “bringing people together” and including developers in that goal. Before making a series of product announcements -- including everything from a Facebook dating app “for real long-term relationships” to new tools to post directly to Instagram from apps like Spotify, and the sale kickoff of Facebook's hands-free cordless virtual reality headset Oculus Go -- Zuckerberg outlined steps the company is taking to protect against election meddling. The steps include stricter political ad campaign policies, such as new ID verification to run political or “issues”-based ads, the creation of an accessible database of all political ads on Facebook (records of a political ad will be viewable on the social network for a four-year period), labeling political ads more clearly in users’ feeds and detecting fake accounts using improved artificial intelligence tools. “This has been an intense year,” said Zuckerberg, who joked at points about his testimony before Congress on Facebook’s privacy and data practices. We need to ensure our services are used for good, and we will.” Zuckerberg also announced new features aimed at giving users more control of how their online data is used to fuel advertising on Facebook. The social network has already made public that it has been taking steps to restrict the amount of data developers are able to request from users. Facebook said the new tool will take months to build and was spurred from demand from users for more control over how their digital information is used on the app. “Overall we’re going to keep investing heavily in security and privacy,”, Zuckerberg said on stage. While we’re doing this, we have a responsibility to build a service that brings people together in news ways.”

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage at F8 on Tuesday.

’s annual “F8” conference for developers started on Tuesday at a time when the social network is clamping down on tools for app makers in the wake of its recent data crisis.

Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened the conference by assuring the several thousand developers in attendance in a San Jose, Calif. conference center that despite the challenges and intense scrutiny the company is facing around its ability to secure users’ data and protect the social network from bad actors, he is as dedicated as ever to building toward Facebook’s mission of “bringing people together” and including developers in that goal.

“We all have challenges to address, but we need that optimism, too,’’ said Zuckerberg, who noted that the company’s biggest challenge over the past year hasn’t been the privacy and moderation matters, but figuring out “how to move forward on everything else we need to do.”

“We need to design technology to help bring people together — the world isn’t moving in that direction by itself,” Zuckerberg added.

Before making a series of product announcements — including everything from a Facebook dating app “for real long-term relationships” to new tools to post directly to Instagram from apps like Spotify, and the sale…

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