Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is housebound just like many of the tech giant’s other employees.
On a press call Wednesday announcing updates to Facebook’s response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the Facebook co-founder and CEO told reporters he is “definitely working from home”, as the company has asked all of its approximately 45,000 employees to do.
“Like everyone is experiencing, it’s a big change to be working from home,” Zuckerberg said.
The multibillionaire added that he’s trying to balance work with taking care of his kids.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that he expects Facebook worker productivity to decline while they work remotely.
Zuckerberg’s comments came on a call during which he announced that Facebook is launching the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center, a new module that will be featured at the top of users’ News Feeds with authoritative information from organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC.
“We certainly want it to be global in the next 24 hours,” he said.
The first countries the informational feature is scheduled to appear in are the US, the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Spain.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center will include real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations, as well as articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus, according to Facebook.
Zuckerberg told reporters he was “personally worried that isolation” resulting from the COVID-19 lockdowns in the US and many countries “could potentially lead to more depression and mental-health issues”.
As such, he said, Facebook is increasing staff dedicated to monitoring user posts for signs of self-harm or suicide: “I want to make sure we get ahead of that.”
On Monday, Facebook, together with Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and Twitter, issued a joint statement saying they were coordinating COVID-19 response efforts.
“We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world,” the companies said.