Over the last 12 years, Mark Zuckerberg has done everything he can to make sure you know what your friends’ babies look like and what your high school friends think about politics.
He’s also fundamentally changed media and politics by presenting news and opinion — true and fake — to billions of people around the world.
Now, the Facebook CEO says that connecting people online isn’t enough.
“We used to have a sense that if we could just do those things, then that would make a lot of the things in the world better by themselves,” Zuckerberg told CNN Tech. “But now we realize that we need to do more too. It’s important to give people a voice, to get a diversity of opinions out there, but on top of that, you also need to do this work of building common ground so that way we can all move forward together.”
The mission previously was this:
“To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
The company now has a new mission:
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
It’s the first time Facebook has changed its mission, and Zuckerberg says he has the tool to achieve it: Facebook Groups, now used by over one billion people.
Over the last few months, Zuckerberg has traveled across the U.S. to meet people from every state. During recent speeches, he’s been touching on issues ranging from immigration to inequality.
While Facebook seeks to make the world better, it was criticized last year for the proliferation of “fake news”, live broadcasting of murders, and creating filter bubbles that have contributed to a polarized world.
“A lot of the important stuff that needs to happen in the world [is] global … whether that’s addressing challenges like stopping climate change or stopping pandemic diseases or terrorism,” said Zuckerberg. “None of these things can happen just by one country or group of people deciding to do it. There’s no top-down structure to enable that, so the will needs to be built bottom up.”
Facebook’s change of mission has great potential to improve their product so that it helps people rather than results in a more polarized world.
Here’s some further reading on the evolution of social media and how it’s impacting society and our minds:
- 8 ways that technology hijacks your mind, according to a Google philosopher
- A new, more rigorous study confirms: the more you use Facebook, the worse you feel
- Instagram is the most harmful social network for your health, according to research
Also, here’s a live video by Ideapod CEO Justin Brown a few months ago sharing more information on “filter bubbles” and how they’re transforming our experience of social media.