© Reuters / Stephen Lam
“I know that we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly. But I’m committed to doing this well,” the Facebook founder and CEO said, all smiles as he outlined a product roadmap for his “privacy-focused social platform” at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday.
However, while Zuckerberg repeatedly broke out in laughter at the shuttered reputation of his company, his apparent zeal for a major overhaul of Facebook’s core products was met by a mute audience, both offline and online. Social media users simply could not believe that Facebook will choose its privacy over profits.
“Remember that time you trusted my company and we sold your most personal information to pretty much anyone, oh, and without your knowledge or consent? Haha, good times,” one Twitter user said, reminding the online community of the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year, in which it was revealed that a British political consulting firm had purchased information on over 87 million Facebook users.
“Hahaha we all know this is crap. It will always sell our data to the highest bidder,” noted another Twitterati.
Faced with a stream of controversies and a tumbling stock over the company’s failure to protect users’ personal data, shady business practices involving third parties and erratic moderation of content on its platform, the company is trying to save face and offer millions of Facebook users a new experience by integrating WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram messages into a single platform with end-to-end encryption. A few people, however, found Zuckerberg’s intentions sincere, with many online users posting laughing joke gifs as comments to the CEO’s announcement under DeleteFacebook hashtag.