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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday his "personal challenge" for 2019 is to "host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society — the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties."

Why it matters: These challenges are synced to the company's goals and public relations needs (previously he learned Chinese or toured the U.S.). This year's goal reflects the way engaging with public concerns about its impact on people and society has become a necessity, not a luxury, for Facebook.

Details: Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page that the conversations will involve "leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields."

  • They will be broadcast on his social media or publicly available elsewhere, Zuckerberg said.

Flashback: Zuckerberg's 2018 challenge was to "focus on fixing" ways his platform was being misused.

  • By the end of the year, however, he was saying he believed the company's problems might not be entirely fixable.

Our thought bubble: Facebook has tried to seem more open to criticism and debate before, such as its blog post series called "Hard Questions," with mixed success. As the public balks at its treatment of consumer data, however, its users are now setting the terms of engagement — not Zuckerberg. Panel discussions are unlikely to satisfy its critics.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.