Zuckerberg releases Facebook manifesto | News | DW | 17.02.2017
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Zuckerberg releases Facebook manifesto

Mark Zuckerberg has written what pundits are calling a Facebook manifesto. The long essay centers on five areas to "bring humanity together."

Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday laid out a vision for Facebook to help address the world's challenges and opportunities by building a "global community" at a time there is a rising backlash against globalization.

In a wide-ranging essay of nearly 6,000 words, the 32-year-old CEO wrote that until recently a more connected world was viewed as positive, "yet now, across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from 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," he wrote.

Some of humanity's greatest opportunities are global, such as promoting peace, ending poverty or accelerating science, Zuckerberg wrote. At the same time challenges like climate change or preventing pandemics require global responses.

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"Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community," he wrote.

Most Facebook users use the social media platform to connect with friends and family or read news, but Zuckerberg said the social network of nearly 2 billion people would try to encourage "social infrastructure."

Zuckerberg listed five areas, or "communities," where Facebook could play a role in "bringing humanity together."  They range from building online social communities that strengthen traditional institutions to providing services during crises or fostering civil engagement.

One thing Facebook will try to do is suggest "meaningful communities." Only 5 percent of Facebook users, or 100 million people, are currently in "very meaningful" social media communities", he wrote.

These online communities that help connect groups locally or globally "strengthen our social fabric," he said.

Comments on Facebook below Zuckerberg's post ranged from praise for his vision to those labeling him a globalist or only interested a public relations stunt to make more money.

Facebook has been under pressure on privacy issues -- it's notable to the word privacy is only mentioned once in the entire essay.  The company also faces controversy for so-called "filter bubbles"and how it handles hoaxes, fake news and other controversial content, while also remaining an open platform without censorship.  

It is not surprising Zuckerberg wants to explore to ways to expand Facebook, which would give it more opportunities to sell the ads that generate most of its revenue. The company reported 2016 revenue of $27.6 billion, up 54 percent from a year earlier.

Zuckerberg  has an estimated worth of $56 billion. He and his wife Priscilla Chan announced in 2015 that they would donate 99 percent of their Facebook wealth.

cw/rg (AFP, AP, Reuters)


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