Mark Zuckerberg
The three key take-aways from Mark Zuckerberg’s fireside chat at Viva Tech

CAPE TOWN - Two days after he appeared before the European Parliament, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at Viva Tech in a fireside chat with Publicis Groupe chairman, and co-founder Maurice Levy.

During the interview Zuckerberg spoke about privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force tomorrow, his plans for governance, and how he intends to fight bad content on the social network.

Here are three key highlights from his talk:

Facebook is hiring 20 000 people, investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to proactively deal with bad content

Early on in the talk, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company “didn’t take a broad enough view that people would use the tools for harm”. He said Facebook had dealt with bad content reactively.

“We need to be building AI that can hunt for this pro-actively,” he said, adding that 90% of content posted by ISIS had been flagged by AI, and that the company would go out of its way to build AI to fight bad content.

The CEO said he will be hiring 20 000 people to work on security, and content review.

Facebook to give users full control over data 

Zuckerberg said GDPR – the EU’s strict new privacy rules –focussed on values that Facebook “have always shared”. He added that the company would roll out the same controls it has been rolling out in Europe around the world.

However, he cautioned users that deleting their data and clearing their history might affect their experience of the social network. “News feed ranking might get worse for you,” said Zuckerberg.

“Fundamentally that should be a decision that people should be able to make,“ he added.

Community oriented governance is Zuckerberg’s next personal project

When asked what his next big personal project was, Zuckerberg shared his plans of a “court of appeals” constituted of individuals who will not work for Facebook, but “have an understanding of what the policies are, and the principles that we’re trying to have for the community”.

Zuckerberg said under this new “community oriented governance”, users who have their content pulled down would be able to contest the decision.