Why is Facebook’s new mission important?
Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke out in a CNN interview on the reasons behind the first ever change in mission statement for the $440 billion company.
“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.”
Specifically, the mission changed to acknowledge and seemingly encourage the activist possibilities that were scarcely imagined in the early days when Facebook was mostly about keeping up with friends’ children and birthdays.
The first iteration of the mission statement had previously been “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” It now acknowledges and encourages constructive engagement and a desire to be a force in the global effort to solve difficult problems. The new mission:
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
The change is in part a reaction to the ways that Facebook realizes it contributed to the problem of “echo chambers” on the right and the left in the last election cycle. In his February 2017 post to the larger Facebook community that essentially announced the shift in mission, he clearly articulated what he saw his work to be: “Our job at Facebook is to help people make the greatest positive impact while mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness and isolation.”
TrumpAccountable.org has routinely called out the Trump administration, Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself for encouraging “divisiveness and isolation.” We want to see how Facebook can be a tool for more than simply grouping like-minded people together, amplifying and ossifying their beliefs, and further entrenching the divisiveness that Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, and Donald Trump have so successfully used to create winning Republican campaigns.
If you have an idea for ways that Facebook – Facebook groups in particular – can do more than build community among like-minded people, please share using this form or engage in our Sharing Conversation initiative that seeks to build common ground between Trump supporters and progressives.