Mark Zuckerberg envisions a new world through Facebook’s lens

By : |February 17, 2017 0

Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made it pretty much clear that he has no plans to enter a Political arena, his latest 5000 words’ post is a perfect example of one deftly written political speech.

While, Google and Amazon have been revising their founder letters every year, Facebook chieftain reviewed his letter for the first time, five years after going public.

Explaining his new vision for the future of Facebook, Zuckerberg said, “For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families. With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for a community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for an inclusion of all.”

The long note included few specifics and offered some broad, ambitious goals for how Zuckerberg aims to contribute a better understanding of everything – from terrorism to fake news -through Facebook as a global community.

“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,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Our greatest challenges also need global responses — like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics. Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.”

Zuckerberg also expressed alarm over globalisation, which was once hyped as the new standard, but now looks controversial. Zuckerberg wrote, “Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community. When we began, this idea was not controversial. Every year, the world got more connected, and this was seen as a positive trend. Yet now, across the world, there are people left behind by globalisation, and movements for withdrawing from a global connection. There are questions about whether we can make a global community that works for everyone, and whether the path ahead is to connect more or reverse course.”

Zuckerberg said he plans to realign Facebook around his latest vision where he aims for a “social infrastructure” to create stronger, supportive, safe online communities. “We have to build a global community that works for everyone,” he said. “I really don’t have much doubt that this is the right direction to go in the long term.”

“There’s a social infrastructure that needs to get built to deal with modern problems for humanity to get to the next level,” Zuckerberg said. “I just think it would be good if more people thought about things like this.”

Zuckerberg also mentioned the critical moment that shifted his thinking towards, “how to be a global company.” It was the photograph of a naked 9-year-old girl fleeing napalm bombs during the Vietnam War that was censored by Facebook because of content policies. After the users had started arguing that the photograph “was not titillating but rather illustrated the perils of modern warfare,” Facebook reposted the image on its site.

This incident helped him realise how ineffective Facebook’s content policy was on a global scale, as the cultural norms vary widely by country. Zuckerberg said, “I don’t think that we, sitting here in California, are best positioned to know what the norms in communities around the world should be. At some point, you just need a more dynamic system where people can just express those themselves.”

Zuckerberg also talks about using artificial intelligence to keep the community safe. “Looking ahead, one of our greatest opportunities to keep people safe is building artificial intelligence to understand more quickly and accurately what is happening across our community,” he wrote.

“Artificial intelligence can help provide a better approach. We are researching systems that can look at photos and videos to flag content our team should review,” wrote Zuckerberg. “This is still very early in development, but we have started to have it look at some content, and it already generates about one-third of all reports to the team that reviews content for our community.”

Zuckerberg posted the letter amid a fierce debate over the merits of globalisation. In the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to put “America first” in his inaugural address in January. Last year, Britain voted to quit the European Union. These moves have caused only strains for companies trying to navigate a new order.

Though, Zuckerberg is trying to push Facebook to reach more and more people and boost globalisation; it should be noted that Facebook is banned in China, currently under regulatory question in Europe and yet to reach around 70-80 percent of the population in India.