The public letter released by Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg on his own Facebook account late last week to the company’s community at large spanning the globe hits some large-scale ambitions for Facebook that move beyond earnings or user counts.
The issue at large was posited by the executive in a question: “Are we building the world we all want?”
The answer would seem to be not yet and that there is work to be done, as Zuckerberg maintained in the roughly 5,700-word document that “progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.”
CNET said last week that the screed represents a restatement of Facebook’s corporate mission, and beyond the constant of connecting individuals, the expansion of that mission would mean that connections would be global, fostering that aforementioned community.
Zuckerberg offered up a five-part strategy to hit that rather large goal, each tied to online community building, and in fact the strategy would build on the characteristics of those communities by making them inclusive, informed, civically engaged, and both safe and supportive.
To do that, efforts would focus on changing some of the systems controls that work with the platform itself, including personal controls, adherence to local laws and technology-driven wrinkles such as artificial intelligence (AI). CNET noted that the new intentions for the platform and the company do not mean that Facebook will change “per se. But it could be start of a more politically involved Zuckerberg, and perhaps features and tools that are built with a more political bent.”
As for the technology, the movement to get AI to recognize, across text and videos and other mediums, offensive or even illegal content such as hate speech, might take a while, said CNET. Addressing AI in his letter, Zuckerberg said that the approach here “is to combine creating a large-scale democratic process to determine standards with AI to help enforce them.”
CNET also noted that through the past year the Facebook founder has spoken publicly and in opposition to “nationalistic rhetoric” that has marked the political discourse in the United States and abroad.