Ahead of Facebook's 15th anniversary, CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is trying to clear up some misconceptions people have about his company.
In an editorial for the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg defended Facebook's business model and the 'clear benefits' of how it operates.
The editorial, titled 'The Facts About Facebook,' comes after a tumultuous year for Facebook, in which experts, users and politicians have questioned its ad-supported business model.
Zuckerberg lays out how Facebook's business model works, noting that showing users advertisements is what allows the company to offer a free service.
He added that Facebook has given users greater controls over which ads they see on Facebook and what data of theirs is used for ad targeting, among other things.
'Still, some are concerned about the complexity of this model,' Zuckerberg wrote.
‘...Here you get our services for free - and we work separately with advertisers to show you relevant ads.
'This model can feel opaque, and we're all distrustful of systems we don't understand,' he added.
Zuckerberg then goes on to deny allegations that the company sells users' data to advertisers.
‘We don't sell people's data, even though it's often reported that we do,' Zuckerberg explained.
'In fact, selling people's information to advertisers would be counter to our business interests, because it would reduce the unique value of our service to advertisers.'
He argues that Facebook doesn't just collect users' personal information for ad targeting, but also for 'security and operating our services,' as well as 'detecting fraud or fake accounts.'
'We give people complete control over whether we use this information for ads, but we don't let them control how we use it for security or operating our services,' Zuckerberg said.
'And when we asked people for permission to use this information to improve their ads as part of our compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, the vast majority agreed because they prefer more relevant ads.'