Zuckerberg Addresses the Dark Side of Facebook

PROVO – Dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addressed the BYU Techonolgy Forum today saying that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t move to Silicon Valley. Zuckerberg said the brilliance of Facebook is that is allows others to create applications to be used within Facebook from anywhere around the world.

When asked what classes he would suggest to college students, he reminded the crowd: “I wasn’t in school that long.”

“You have to love and believe in what you’re going,” Zuckerberg said.

He said that it becomes easy to succumb to the challenges if you don’t love what you do.

In 2008, he traveled around the world for a month to reflect on the original purpose of Facebook: Maintain more relationships and more empathy for others.

“On hard days, I step back and that’s the thing that keeps me going,” Zuckerberg said. “Having faith in what you’re doing, that really is the most important.”

He said it is important that Facebook allows independent entreprenuers to develop technology that would make it better. “We want to instead focus on building a development platform. It’s humbling to see the success a lot of folks have had.”

“A lot of people want to tax the internet,” Hatch said. “There are real conflicts in this area. Some of the larger companies want that regulation because it keeps their dominance alive. I prefer keeping innovation alive.”

Hatch asked Zuckerberg about the “dark side” of Facebook.

“If you go back maybe 10 years, a lot of people were really afraid of sharing things on the internet,” Zuckerberg said.  “We offer these extremely robust privacy controls. You control exactly who sees it. We’re really focused on safety, especially on children’s safety. We take a lot of precautions to make sure it’s a safe environment for them.”

“(We have) a lot of security … providing a safe environement were we are really viligant that there are few bad actors,” he continued. “But there’s a lot of other really meaningful steps you can take a long the way, as well. (Facebook is one) of the first products that offers people the ability to have all their information … to be encrypted. (aka https vs. http).”

Zuckerberg also pointed out security measures like emailing users when they’ve logged in from a new device.

“We’re always thinking about little and big things we can do.”

Zuckerberg told Hatch that Facebook users under the age of 13 must have written consent from their parents.

Hatch asked Zuckerberg about the role social media will play in global issues.

“When we were getting started, I remember I had these conversations with a lot of my friends,” Zuckerberg said. “How different the world was going to be when people could connect more through the internet … transparency and making the world more connecting would transform things. Also, we will see disruption in how people relate with businesses. The dynamic there will be a lot more open. Businesses can’t just hide behind some big corportae veil any more. They have to engage with users.”

Zuckerberg added that transparency will help countries in the long run.

He said that transparency will help countries in the long term and will effect the way people engage with government.

“In a way, the internet just gives everyone a voice,” he said.

He concluded that it doesn’t matter what people are passionate about, as long as they have that passion and take initiative.

“People don’t get put into roles, they create them for themselves,” he said.

email jwatkins@stgnews.com

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.

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