• Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors he will prioritise being understood over being liked in the new decade.
  • Facebook has been buffeted by a storm of controversy in recent years, with the social network's privacy practices and content moderation under fire.
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook need to communicate more clearly.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opened the company's Q4 earnings conference callwith some thoughts for the new decade, stressing that the social network would focus on better communicating with the public, even if it means ruffling some feathers.

"Because we wanted to be liked, we didn't always communicate our views as clearly, because we were worried about offending people," Zuckerberg said. "This led to some positive but shallow sentiments towards us and the company."

But now, he explained, Facebook will focus on communicating more clearly what the company "stands for."

"My goal for the next decade isn't to be liked but to be understood," Zuckerberg said.

Facebook has been beset by scandals in the past two years, with critics blasting the company for enabling the spread of hate speech and misinformation, and for violating user privacy. In particular, Facebook's policy of not taking down political ads, even if they are untruthful, has provoked a big backlash.

Hours before Facebook's earnings call on Wednesday, the actor Sasha Baron Cohen blasted Zuckerberg in a tweet, saying that "history will judge you harshly - if we still have historians after you help destroy democracy!"

Zuckerberg, the 35-year old cofounder of Facebook, said on Wednesday that the company has made important progress in ensuring election integrity, and is working diligently on creating privacy-enabled versions of its products. But he re-iterated his call for government regulations.

"Until we get clearer rules … I expect that we and our industry will continue to face a high level of scrutiny," he said.

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