Seemingly out of the blue, the embattled CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has decided to launch his own podcast that centers on topics such as tech, society, and the relationship often murky between the two.
In this podcast, called Tech & Society with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO sits down with esteemed, high-profile individuals to discuss the social impact of technology.
Right now, there's very little information available on where users can stream it or how many episodes it'll have and how long each will be. Only Spotify appears to have the podcast at the moment, but Facebook says users can expect the podcast to reach other platforms in the "coming days."
"This year I am doing a series of public discussions on the future of internet and society," Zuck announces in the podcast. He explains that the show constitutes this year's "personal challenge," an annual homework assignment that has resulted in stuff such as the CEO learning Mandarin and writing an artificial intelligence program for his home.
Tech & Society With Mark Zuckerberg
The first two episodes are available to stream now, and they touch on topics Zuckerberg is very familiar with. In one episode, he talks with Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain about privacy and fake news; he also sits with Axel Springer chief Mathias Dopfner to talk about the importance and relevance of journalism in the digital era.
These discussions are quite long, too — the first one is an nearly two hours — and they touch on Facebook's plans. Zuckerberg's sit-down with Dopfner, for example, cites many references to Facebook's support of local news plus its plans to bring more news to people's news feeds.
The episodes are audio versions of videos Zuckerberg is posting on his Facebook profile. Which means there will be new podcast episodes "every few weeks."
Do People Care About What He Has To Say?
Zuckerberg's show might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially since there's already an abundance of excellent tech podcasts that offer a more objective voice on the most pressing topics concerning the landscape. At the very least, though, it offers a rare chance to hear what the executive has to say — that is, if people still want to listen to him.
Facebook has been surfing along a huge wave of public scandals in the past few months, such as the Cambridge Analytica data privacy fiasco up to recent revelations that Facebook had stored around 600 million passwords in plain text. These stumbles have certainly taken a toll on the company's reputation, but at the same time, they've shed a light on the importance of data and how careless some companies can be handling them.