In the Jewish tradition of asking for forgiveness around the High Holidays, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg publicly apologized for his social media creation on Saturday.
“Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes,” wrote Zuckerberg, who is Jewish. After asking for personal forgiveness, he continued on to address a more global issue.
“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’s creation has been at the heart of a number of unsavoury events and scandals in the past Jewish year, many of which directly harmed Israel and the Jewish people. Most recently, it was discovered that Facebook was enabling advertisers to target anti-Semitic users with anti-Jewish ads.
The social media giant quickly attempted to cover itself, removing blatantly anti-Semitic categories generated by algorithms and promising “new guardrails” to prevent it from happening in the future.
However, Facebook’s history of discriminating against Jewish and Israeli causes, while ignoring anti-Jewish incitement to terror and violence, is well documented; the social media site is often used as a platform for encouraging Arabs and Palestinians to commit acts of terror against Israelis and Jews. Last July, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan accused Facebook of being directly responsible for the deaths of terror victims by allowing extreme incitement to proliferate on the site.
Facebook has faced additional “divisive” struggles this year. It is currently enmeshed in several federal investigations over Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Facebook sold $150,000 worth of political ads to fake Russian accounts, the majority of which were traced back to a propaganda group which used its access to American voters to influence the election in President Donald Trump’s favor.
The site is also guilty of spreading countless “fake news” stories generated by unreliable websites.
Zuckerberg’s post concluded with the classic Yom Kippur wish, “May we all be better in the year ahead, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life.” The post generated thousands of positive comments thanking the Facebook CEO and blessing him in the year ahead.