clock menu more-arrow no yes

Mark Zuckerberg won’t slow down — even after the data privacy scandal

Zuckerberg will try and convince us all at F8 that speed is still a good thing.

Mark Zuckerberg via Facebook

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage at 10 on Tuesday morning at the company’s annual developer conference, F8, look for him to share a deliberate message that he also told investors last week on the company’s Q1 earnings call:

We’re not slowing down.

Facebook has spent the past six weeks in crisis. Revelations in late March that the company’s data policies enabled an outside research firm, Cambridge Analytica, to collect data from tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent created a firestorm of bad press, angry users and looming regulation. Facebook has been trying to clean up that mess with sweeping changes to its data policies, plus lots and lots of public face time for Zuckerberg.

But despite all that has happened, Zuckerberg is ready to move forward. He doesn’t want people to think Facebook is taking its foot off the gas.

“We have a responsibility to keep our community safe and secure, and we’re going to invest heavily to do that,” Zuckerberg said Wednesday during the company’s earnings call. “At the same time, we also have a responsibility to keep moving forward and keep building tools that bring people together in meaningful new ways. That’s what makes Facebook so important to so many people, and that’s our responsibility too.”

If Facebook’s earnings call is any indication of what Zuckerberg will say this week — and we think that it is — expect Facebook to apologize, but then promise to keep on building.

That message sounds like a Silicon Valley cliche, but it’s an important Silicon Valley cliche because it’s coming from Zuckerberg.

For a long time, Facebook’s motto was “move fast and break things.” It was a mindset that helped Facebook become one of the world’s most valuable companies, with more than a billion users on three separate products. It was also a mindset that opened the door for trouble, as Cambridge Analytica proved once again last month.

Unlike some of its peers, Facebook has never had trouble moving fast. The issues have come because Facebook is usually going faster than it knows how to drive. Whether it’s fake news, violent live video streams, ad targeting gone too far, or a failure to keep user data safe, Facebook has proven time and again that it has serious trouble controlling its own product.

Zuckerberg, who always writes his own keynote speech for F8, will have a chance on Tuesday to convince people that next time will be different. That it understands its responsibility when it comes to virtual reality, augmented reality, in-home video cameras and mind reading technology. That even though Facebook isn’t slowing down, it’s a good idea to stay inside the car.

“We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our tools are used for good,” Zuckerberg said last week. “But we also need to keep moving forward — building new tools to help people connect, build community and bring the world closer together.”

F8 starts at 10 am on Tuesday — you can watch the livestream here.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.