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Is Mark Zuckerberg Sorry?

Facebook has had lots of scandals. See if you can guess when its CEO actually apologized.

Posted on April 10, 2018, at 12:22 p.m. ET

In a statement to Congress released yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg apologized for Facebook's role in the large-scale misuse of customer data by Cambridge Analytica. He wrote, "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."

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This is not the first time Mark Zuckerberg has apologized. But he's also been notably silent about various other controversies and scandals befalling his company over the years.

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Can you guess which times Zuck explicitly said he was sorry?

  1. 1. News Feed, which people hated when it was first launched in 2006.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    When News Feed launched, people FREAKED out about the change, not understanding the privacy controls and how it looked. Zuckerberg wrote a post saying that Facebook had failed to communicate well about the change. "This was a big mistake on our part, and I'm sorry for it."

  2. 2. Making Beacons, a user-tracking feature, opt-out, rather than opt-in.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    Oops! People hated this, and Zuckerberg apologized, saying Facebook shouldn't have made Beacons — which tracked your activity around the web for advertisers — automatically opt everyone in. Facebook got rid of Beacons in 2009.

  3. 3. Deceiving users about privacy back in 2011, which caused an Federal Trade Commission charge (and settlement by Facebook).

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    Zuckerberg did say what passes for an apology: "I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes." He never exactly said he was sorry, and the post was congratulatory about Facebook's broader mission to connect people. But when you own your mistakes I think that counts as being sorry, even if you don't exactly say the word.

  4. 4. Doing a psychological test in which Facebook fed 700,000 users either more positive or more negative posts, in an effort to see if it had an effect on the sentiment of their own posting.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sorry!

    This is a trick question, sort of. Mark Zuckerberg never apologized, but COO Sheryl Sandberg apologized for the fact that the test was "poorly communicated." Which isn't exactly apologizing for doing it in the first place, just for how users were told they were part of a social experiment.

  5. 5. Violent content being livestreamed on Facebook, including suicides and the 2017 murder of Robert Godwin, which over 1,000 people watched before the video was taken down.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sorry!

    In May 2017, Zuckerberg announced in a post that Facebook would be hiring 3,000 more moderators to deal with Facebook Live. Without ever explicitly apologizing, he said, "over the last few weeks, we've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community."

  6. 6. Creating a tool that "divided people."

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    In a brief and vague post on this past Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday of atonement, Zuckerberg 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."

  7. 7. Russian meddling in the election (at first).

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sorry!

    Zuck initially called the idea that Russian meddling on Facebook played a role in the election outcome "a pretty crazy idea" in an interview. Later, he wrote a post saying he regretted being dismissive when he said that. So he wasn't sorry about the whole Russian thing at first — but then he was sorry about...saying he wasn't sorry.

  8. 8. That ~whole~ Cambridge Analytica thing.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    Extremely sorry! Zuckerberg has said so in several interviews, as well as his own blog post, and even took out ads in newspapers to say it. This guy was sorry as hell!

  9. 9. Taking credit for Facebook's "systems" stopping incitement of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar — when really it was NGOs that were reporting problematic posts.

    Correct
    Incorrect
    SORRY
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NOT SORRY
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry!

    In a letter to the NGOs, Zuckerberg wrote, “Thank you for writing it and I apologize for not being sufficiently clear about the important role that your organizations play in helping us understand and respond to Myanmar-related issues. In making my remarks, my intention was to highlight how we’re building artificial intelligence to help us better identify abusive, hateful or false content even before it is flagged by our community.”

  • Picture of Katie Notopoulos

    Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture and is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

    Contact Katie Notopoulos at katie@buzzfeed.com.

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