On Sunday, October 1, the day after the Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a Facebook post asking for forgiveness, Vanity Fair reports.
"Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes," he wrote. "For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better. For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better. May we all be better in the year ahead, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life."
It's not clear what he's referring to, but when he says his work was "used to divide people," he could be referencing accusations that Facebook disseminated fake news and ultimately helped Trump win.
Zuckerberg estimates that Russian accounts bought over 3,000 Facebook ads to influence the election. The New York Times reported that these ads were worth around $100,000 total. After Zuckerberg handed the ads over to congressional investigators, he said in a Facebook video, "I don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy."
Facebook was also used to disseminate fake news articles before the election, including one claiming that the FBI agent handling Hillary Clinton's email scandal had taken his own life. A Buzzfeed report estimates that 38% of the content on three of Facebook's biggest conservative political pages had inaccurate information. Zuckerberg initially defended Facebook but then wrote in a Facebook post that he planned on improving Facebook's algorithms to detect fake news.
"While the percentage of misinformation is relatively small, we have much more work ahead on our roadmap," he wrote. "I want you to know that we have always taken this seriously, we understand how important the issue is for our community, and we are committed to getting this right."