Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will move beyond connecting family and friends to building “social infrastructure” critical to bringing people together in a “global community.”
In a nearly 5,800-word letter to Facebook users published on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg laid out his vision of what kind of world he believes Facebook can help create as it pushes back against a growing tide of anti-globalization sentiment.
“Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The letter comes as Facebook is besieged by criticism that it drove people apart by helping spread hyperpartisan misinformation and creating filter bubbles for people who share the same beliefs during the bitterly divisive presidential election. The tone is a significant departure from Zuckerberg’s initial rejection of the idea that misleading or fabricated news articles on Facebook influenced the outcome of the election.
Though the letter is long on utopian ideals, it’s short on actual details. Zuckerberg broadly says Facebook will heal growing division by focusing on key areas such as tools to build more inclusive online communities and tools that help encourage more civic engagement and push people to become more informed consumers of news.
He also acknowledged missteps and promised to reform policies, such as allowing more newsworthy and historically important content even if it’s shocking to some, such as the Vietnam War-era photograph in which a naked 9-year-old girl is fleeing napalm bombs or the police shooting death of Philando Castile captured on Facebook Live.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Jessica Guynn