Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg -- working to sidestep communicating through media -- took matters into his own hands by holding his second public question-and-answer session today to address users directly.
At the event, held at the social network’s Menlo Park, California-based headquarters, Zuckerberg discussed everything from parenting to pizza. Here are the highlights:
Facebook and Kids
One woman asked Zuckerberg, “If you and I were married, how would we handle Facebook with our daughter?” He responded that it would depend on whether the daughter is 13 yet -- that’s Facebook’s required minimum age to become a user.
“I would not allow my child under the age of 13 to use Facebook,” he said. After she was old enough, they would sit down and have a talk about bullying and other things to watch out for on social media, he said.
That doesn’t mean Zuckerberg’s hypothetical children would be banned from technology. The CEO doesn’t have kids, but said when he does, he’ll reflect on how his adolescence was shaped by technology and how it turned out to be a good thing.
“Society has a pretty overbearing attitude and we treat children as if they don’t know how to do stuff,” he said. “I would want my children to use technology because I think it’s one of the ways that you become literate and learn the skills that you need to for the modern world.”
Zuckerberg was asked if he’d ever implement a “dislike” button, since there are some things that are inappropriate to “like.” He said Facebook thought about it -- then decided against it since such a button could spread negativity.
“A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives,” he said. “What’s the right way to make it so people can easily express a broader range of emotions? To empathize?
Don’t expect a new button anytime soon, he said. But it makes sense to think about the issue so the company can figure out the right way to connote emotions, he said.
Facebook spooked people this year when it published the results of a 2012 psychological experiment that altered the number of positive or negative posts in some members’ news feeds. The social network was forced to apologize. Zuckerberg was asked about the fallout today.
‘‘We took that opportunity to go internally and reflect on whether we had a good process internally, and we tightened things up a bit,” he said.
Facebook isn’t going to stop testing, because that’s what makes its product better, he said. Yet there are certain kinds of tests the company shouldn’t be doing haphazardly: mood testing, privacy testing, or testing on minors are particularly sensitive, and should go through a different kind of review or not be done.
Zuckerberg was asked for his favorite pizza topping.
“My view on this important issue is that if you’re going to be eating pizza, you might as well also have fried chicken on top of the pizza,” he said.
The CEO’s tone made it unclear whether he was actually a fan, or joking about gluttony. He then quickly asked for the next question.