In a rare move, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday took nearly an hour's worth of questions from reporters to talk about the social network's handling of user data and its influence on global events.
In recent weeks, a steady stream of bad news about Facebook has called into question whether users -- and shareholders -- should trust that the company is headed in the right direction. Most recently, Facebook acknowledged that as many as 87 million users may have had their information "improperly shared" with the shady data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg on Wednesday said that the company has yet to see any meaningful dropoff from Facebook users or advertisers.
"I don't think there's been any meaningful impact that we've observed," he said.
He did, however, acknowledge that Facebook up to this point hasn't taken a broad enough view of its responsibility to protect user data and prevent abuse of the platform. "That was a huge mistake, that was my mistake," he said.
Zuckerberg reiterated the steps the company is taking to limit freewheeling use of user data, but he brushed aside the notion that Facebook has to rein in its quest for profit in order to restore user trust.
"The thing that makes our product challenging to manage and operate are not the tradeoffs between people and the business," Zuckerberg said.
Facebook brought in more than $40 billion revenue in 2017, thanks to the trove of valuable data advertisers can exploit on its platform. While some people may be uncomfortable with the way Facebook mines user information to help advertisers, Zuckerberg said, "The feedback is overwhelmingly on the side of wanting a better experience."
In fact, he said that