Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg outlines plans to help build social infrastructure for a better world

By @shauryaarya1 on
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg gestures while addressing the audience during a meeting of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. Reuters/Mariana Bazo

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his plan for bringing the world closer together. In a nearly 6000-word letter published on the social media website, Zuckerberg addressed the company’s future and globalisation. The letter spoke about the tech giant’s plans that can lead to a better understanding of issues like hate speech and fake news.

The underlining mission of the tech giant remains what it has always been – to connect people. Facebook wants to help build communities that are supportive, safe, informed, civically engaged and inclusive.

"Our greatest opportunities are now global -- like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science," Zuckerberg wrote in the letter. "Our greatest challenges also need global responses -- like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics."

In an interview with BBC, the Facebook founder addressed issues concerning today’s world. "When I started Facebook, the mission of connecting the world was not controversial," he said. "It was as if it was a default assumption that people had; every year the world got more connected and that seems like the direction things were heading in. Now that vision is becoming more controversial."

Faceook’s mission needs a lot of work, something that will last for several years. AI will be used to assess whether the content – in the form of text, pictures or videos – that show up on Facebook contain hate speech, graphic violence and sexually explicit content.

“The idea is to give everyone in the community options for how they would like to set the content policy for themselves,” Zuckerberg explains the policy in the Facebook letter. “Where is your line on nudity? On violence? On graphic content? On profanity? What you decide will be your personal settings. We will periodically ask you these questions to increase participation and so you don’t need to dig around to find them.”

Zuckerberg, who has been outspoken about British and American politics over the past year, said he is hopeful the company will start working on some of these issues this year. Last year, he spoke out against Donald Trump, the then-Republican presidential candidate and front-runner.

"I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others," Zuckerberg said in a speech last year. "If the world starts to turn inwards, then our community will just have to work even harder to bring people together."

Zuckerberg concludes his letter with a quote from Abraham Lincoln. "We can succeed only by concert." With his mission, he said, he hopes "to build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come."