Facebook founder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg recently took a trip around the country which lead many to suspect he would mount a presidential campaign in 2020. He denied having this ambition, but seems to have grander goals as he released an open letter Thursday embracing the idea of a global community, and listing ways in which the social media giant can benefit this global society.
“History is the story of how we’ve learned to come together in ever greater numbers — from tribes to cities to nations. At each step, we built social infrastructure like communities, media and governments to empower us to achieve things we couldn’t on our own,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Today we are close to taking our next step. Our greatest opportunities are now global — like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science.”
The Facebook founder said, “Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.”
Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook stands for “building a global community,” and that recently people have been questioning whether it is possible to build a global community that works for everyone. The Facebook founder was adamant in his letter that technology can overcome obstacles to creating a global community.
“In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us,” Zuckerberg said. The Facebook founder went on to describe steps the social media giant could take to help communities become more “supportive,” “safe,” “informed,” “civically-engaged,” and “inclusive.”
Many of Zuckerberg’s steps to address these goals were rather broad. He called for increased tools for administrators of Facebook groups, supporting the news industry, burying sensationalist content on the newsfeed and increasing voter participation.
The Facebook founder did lay out some specific initiatives — such as using artificial intelligence to screen out violent content or “tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda.” In an interview with BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg said that Facebook can save “people’s lives” by using AI to detect signs of bullying or self-harm.
Zuckerberg also called for different community standards, which would be designed to reduce the amount of content removed by the site as people would fine tune their standards for nudity and offensive speech.