Mark Zuckerberg says he's become 'more religious' after becoming a father in rare public discussion about faith: 'The last few years have been really humbling for me'
Mark Zuckerberg has grown "more religious" over the past few years. The Facebook CEO said the birth of his daughters and the challenges his company have faced have influenced his faith. The 35-year-old tech exec made the rare public comments about religion at a conference in Utah. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he's grown more religious over the last few years as a result of fatherhood and the "challenges we've been through as a company." In an on-stage interview at a conference in Utah on Friday, the 35-year-old technology executive made rare public comments about his Jewish faith. Asked about who his mentors are Zuckerberg segued into a discussion about religion. "I've become more religious," he said: "The last few years have been really humbling for me." He went on: "I think there's a comfort in knowing and having confidence that there are things bigger than you ... it's why I have so much faith in democracy overall, it's why I care so much about giving people a voice." Zuckerberg attributed his evolution to two factors: The issues his company has faced over the last few years, and the birth of his two daughters, now aged four and two. He added: "You have to believe in things that are bigger than yourself." Zuckerberg subsequently jokingly clarified that "I did not mean to say that God is a mentor." The billionaire chief executive grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York in a Jewish household. He only rarely talks about his faith, and in a reply to a Facebook post in 2016 said that after a period of questioning in his life, he no longer considered himself an atheist. " I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important," he wrote. His wife Priscilla Chan is Buddhist, he wrote in a Facebook post in 2015. Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at (+1) 650-636-6268 using a non-work device, email at email@example.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.)Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars
More like this (3)
Facebook has appointed the 'privacy committee' on its board designed to prevent another Cambridge Analytica scandal (FB)
Facebook's board of directors has appointed the members of a new Privacy Committee. The company was...Facebook's board of directors has appointed the members of a new Privacy Committee. The company was required to create the committee as part of its settlement with the FTC over privacy violations. The committee, which is chaired by former McKinsey partner Nancy Killefer, is intended to help prevent another Cambridge Analytica-like scandal. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Facebook's board of directors has formed a formal Privacy Committee, a measure required under the company's settlement with federal regulators after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. On Wednesday, Facebook announced that the committee's members are directors Peggy Alford, Nancy Killefer, and Robert M. Kimmitt, with Killefer acting as the committee's chair. The formation of the committee marks the latest step in Facebook's attempts to move on from its scandal-ridden past. Political research firm Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of 87 million users' data that came fully to light in 2018 was one of a chain of privacy-related scandals for the company, and ultimately resulted in a $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. That settlement also required a number of changes at the company, including the formation of the board privacy committee — but has also been criticised by some privacy advocates for not requiring more extensive changes in Facebook's operations. Killefer was appointed to Facebook's board in March 2020, and was previously a senior partner at consulting firm McKinsey who has also worked for the US Treasury and the IRS. Alford previously worked as CFO for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic vehicle, as well as PayPal. Kimmitt has worked at law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, the US Treasury, and Time Warner. "Our audit & risk oversight committee's responsibilities previously included oversight of risks related to privacy and data use. In connection with the formation of our privacy committee, our board of directors has delegated to our privacy committee the responsibility for overseeing risks related to privacy and data use, including management's periodic assessment of our Privacy Program and any related policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management," Facebook wrote in a financial filing on Wednesday. Facebook's board of directors has experienced significant turnover in the past few years. A recent Wall Street Journal investigation detailed how multiple board members critical of Zuckerberg's management of the company have stepped down, to be replaced by friends and loyalists to the 35-year-old billionaire. In addition to Alford, Killefer, and Kimmitt, Facebook's other board members are Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, investor Peter Thiel, investor and former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Estee Lauder Companies CFO Tracey Travis, and former Obama administration official Jeffrey Zients. Got a tip? Contact Business Insider reporter Rob Price via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1 650-636-6268), encrypted email (firstname.lastname@example.org), standard email (email@example.com), Telegram/Wickr/WeChat (robaeprice), or Twitter DM (@robaeprice). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by standard email only, please.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
Facebook is going to have a rough 2020. Mark Zuckerberg's defiant quote shows he's getting ready for war.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his "goal for this next decade isn't to be liked, but...Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his "goal for this next decade isn't to be liked, but to be understood." The social network is adopting a more aggressive posture as it enters 2020, which is expected to bring new controversies for the company. The 34-year-old billionaire CEO hinted at battles Facebook is likely to face — including over encryption, political polarization, and critiques of targeted advertising. Zuckerberg said he's determined to "stand up" for what the company believes in, "and "we're going to focus more on communicating our principles." Click here for more BI Prime stories. 2020 is going to be a tough year for Facebook. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants the world to know he's not afraid to fight back. Facebook has entered the new decade in strong financial health but bruised by years of scandals, that have transformed its once-buzzy public image into a punching bag for everyone from right-wing politicians to human rights campaigners. On Wednesday, Facebook announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019, and on a subsequent call with analysts, Zuckerberg made a pledge: "My goal for this next decade isn't to be liked, but to be understood." Historically, explained the 35-year-old billionaire, Facebook had "worried about offending people," resulting in "positive but shallow sentiment" about the company. But going forward, he said, the social network is going to "focus more on communicating our principles" and making clear what it stands for. It is debatable as to whether historic positive sentiment about Facebook was a result of the company being noncommittal, rather than a failure by broader society to appreciate the negative externalities caused by Facebook's deficient approach to content moderation and data security. But regardless, the message Zuckerberg is sending is clear: Facebook knows there's more trouble coming, and it's not going to back down. Zuckerberg framed this resolve as a fight for values: "We're going to focus more on communicating our principles, whether that's standing up for giving people a voice against those who would censor people who don't agree with them, standing up for letting people build their own communities against those who say that new types of communities forming on social media is dividing us, standing up for encryption against those who say privacy mostly helps bad people, standing up for giving small businesses more opportunity and sophisticated tools against those who say targeted advertising is a problem, or standing up for serving every person in the world against those who say you have to pay a premium in order to really be served." The remarks hint at multiple fights Facebook may find itself embroiled in over the next year: Against authoritarian governments' pressure to take down material, against critics raising concerns about radicalisation and polarization caused by social media, against the US government (and other governments around the world) that has repeatedly signaled its displeasure with the use of encryption to secure users' messages, and against ongoing concerns from some about the effects of online advertising. There are also other, unacknowledged threats on the horizon in 2020 — including the growing risk of antitrust action against the company, ongoing accusations of political bias (from both the left and the right), and the possibility of further scandals relating to the company's (historic or current) content moderation or data security policies. Standing firm may be an effective strategy for Facebook for some of these issues. When it comes to antitrust, for example, US regulators have earned a reputation for having more bark than bite. So pushing back is not an unreasonable gambit for Facebook. In other areas however, Zuckerberg's tough guy strategy carries a real risk of backfiring. After the 2016 US Presidential Elections, Zuckerberg famously dismissed the notion that Facebook bore any responsibility for the misinformation that was planted on the social network and designed to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Those comments continue to haunt Zuckerberg to this day. In fact, moments before striking his defiant tone on Wednesday's conference call, Zuckerberg acknowledged the mistakes in made in the last election. "We were behind in 2016," Zuckerberg said. Here are Mark Zuckerberg's full comments, via a copy of his prepared remarks: We're also focused on communicating, more clearly, what we stand for. One critique of our approach for much of the last decade was that because we wanted to be liked, we didn't always communicate our views as clearly because we worried about offending people. This led to positive but shallow sentiment towards us and towards the company. My goal for this next decade isn't to be liked, but to be understood. In order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for. So we're going to focus more on communicating our principles — whether that's standing up for giving people a voice against those who would censor people who don't agree with them, standing up for letting people build their own communities against those who say that new types of communities forming on social media is dividing us, standing up for encryption against those who say privacy mostly helps bad people, standing up for giving small businesses more opportunity and sophisticated tools against those who say targeted advertising is a problem, or standing up for serving every person in the world against those who say you have to pay a premium in order to really be served. These positions aren't always going to be popular, but I think it's important for us to take these debates head on. I know that there are a lot of people who agree with these principles, and there are whole a lot more who are open to them and want to see these arguments get made. So expect more of that this year. Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at (+1) 650-636-6268 using a non-work device, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Read more: Instagram's lax privacy practices let a trusted partner track millions of users' physical locations, secretly save their stories, and flout its rules Mark Zuckerberg's personal security chief accused of sexual harassment and making racist remarks about Priscilla Chan by 2 former staffers Facebook says it 'unintentionally uploaded' 1.5 million people's email contacts without their consent Years of Mark Zuckerberg's old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it 'mistakenly deleted' them. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Watch Google reveal the new Nest Mini, which is an updated Home Mini