Mark Zuckerberg says good regulation will damage Facebook's business but he wants it anyway

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Mark Zuckerberg has admitted "good regulation will hurt Facebook's business in the near term."
  • The Facebook CEO made the remark in a Financial Times op-ed published Sunday, during which he discussed the regulation of social media platforms like Facebook and what this regulation should look like.
  • Zuckerberg added that "good regulation will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term."
  • The 35-year-old's views on Facebook's regulation have not always been clear-cut. In the wake of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, he said: "I'm not sure we shouldn't be regulated."
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Mark Zuckerberg has admitted "good regulation will hurt Facebook's business in the near term."

The Facebook CEO made the remark in a Financial Times op-ed published Sunday, during which he discussed the regulation of social media platforms like Facebook and what this regulation should look like.Advertisement

Zuckerberg is visiting Brussels to meet with European regulators on Monday, as the EU plans to introduce new rules about the regulation of artificial intelligence.

Zuckerberg added in his op-ed that "good regulation will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term."

Discussing how to make regulation more open, transparent, and accountable, he said: "These are problems that need to be fixed and that affect our industry as a whole. If we don't create standards that people feel are legitimate, they won't trust institutions or technology."
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Zuckerberg added that poorly considered regulation could inadvertently benefit bigger players like Facebook.

"If regulation makes it harder for [smaller firms] to share data and use these tools, that could disproportionately hurt them and inadvertently advantage larger companies that can. Still, rather than relying on individual companies to set their own standards, we'd benefit from a more democratic process." In Sunday's FT op-ed, the 35-year-old also touched upon an issue that's come to prominence much more recently: political ads.Advertisement

Facebook has faced criticism from across the political spectrum for allowing political ads containing lies on its platform - an allowance that comes from its refusal to fact-check political ads.

Though Zuckerberg didn't address the specific issue directly, he did say it's often tough to decide what counts as a political ad in the first place.

"We believe advertising is more transparent on Facebook than television, print or other online services," he wrote. "We publish details about political and issue ads - including who paid for them, how much was spent, and how many people were reached - in our ads library.Advertisement

"But who decides what counts as political advertising in a democracy? If a non-profit runs an ad about immigration during an election, is it political? Who should decide - private companies, or governments?"

These latter comments come after Facebook decided not to categorize sponsored memes from US presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg as political ads.

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