Published: Sun, February 19, 2017
USA | By Yvette Dunn

Mark Zuckerberg just published almost 6000 words about the future of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg just published almost 6000 words about the future of Facebook

In a almost 6,000-word letter published to his Facebook page on Thursday, Zuckerberg laid out his vision for the kind of world he thinks Facebook can help create. Some people argued his company was unfairly silencing right-wing political voices, while others complained Facebook's algorithm was spreading conspiracy theories and "fake news." "With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community - for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all", he added.

Zuckerberg has faced intensifying criticism over how Facebook wields its power as one of the world's most-visited sites, with a community of more than 1.86 billion people, which is more than half the world's online population and greater than the population of any country on Earth. Zuckerberg believes that Facebook's AI will learn to make distinctions, for example: the AI will be able to distinguish between terrorist propaganda and a news report about a terrorist attack.

Zuckerberg noted that this is an especially important time to build global communities because some people are being left behind by globalization, while others are breaking global connections.

Elsewhere in Zuckerberg's document - titled Building Global Community - the Facebook founder says his firm makes a lot of mistakes but ultimately is aiming to be "bringing us closer together". "At some point, you just need a more dynamic system where people can just express those themselves".

"Zuckerberg clearly cares about this, but it's also good business", said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research.

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Zuckerberg used a more than 5,700-word treatise published on his Facebook account Thursday as an apparent attempt at restating the company's mission.

Facebook has been working to tweak its news feed, for instance taking into account which stories are forwarded on more when users only see the headline and which are shared after they're read.

He also highlights the prevalence of bullying and harassment on the social network. "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.

However he said it is a time when many are thinking about how they can have "the most positive impact".

Currently, Facebook largely relies on users to flag questionable content. At least, when it comes to "community building". In the U.S., President Donald Trump has displayed a deep streak of nationalism. In this particular issue, what seems quite interesting is the way in which he expressed the importance of being well informed, given the fact that his social media network has recently been widely criticized for the fake news phenomenon, that could have unpredictable consequences for a specific community in a certain context.

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