'For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness'

Mark zuckerbergJustin Sullivan/GettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to do better so that Facebook won’t ‘divide’ people

Mark Zuckerberg publicly apologised for Facebook’s negative effects, posting a message to mark the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday on Saturday in a year in which the social network has come under fire for spreading misinformation.

“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,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page. 

Saturday night marked the end of Yom Kippur, the Jewish “day of atonement” and Judaism’s holiest day of the year in which it is customary to fast, to reflect on the past year and to forgive and ask forgiveness for one’s wrongful actions.

Zuckerberg did not specify how Facebook was used to “divide” in his message. The 2-billion member social network, created 13 years ago by Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room, has become one of the world’s most powerful communication channels. Facebook has been  in the spotlight since the 2016 US presidential elections as the spread of fake news articles and political ads bought by Russia-linked groups are believed to have used Facebook to gain momentum.

Facebook was also criticised for lax oversight over its online advertising categories following a ProPublica report which revealed that Facebook’s algorithm enabled advertisers to serve ads to almost 2,300 “Jew haters.” 

Here is Zuckerberg’s full message:

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