Many of the world’s technological developments are geared towards solving societal problems and Facebook has spent dozens of years trying to accomplish a social mission –make the world more open and connected. Zuckerberg, however, believes Facebook’s bottom line isn’t just to link people around the globe together.
Facebook, the world’s most ubiquitous social media platform just made it possible for the world to get closer together by updating its mission statement, “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is updating its mission statement at a time when the social network received a torrent of criticisms for failing to check the spread of fake news and terrorist activities on its network.
Zuckerberg’s intention was made known in Chicago at the company’s very first “Community Summit”– a gathering of over 300 Facebook Group Administrators on June 22 which he believes is the best way to bring the world closer together. This, however, does not mean Facebook is shifting from connecting friends and family but rather, the company is refocusing its mission to enable people to connect with communities that matter to them.
— CNN Tech (@cnntech) June 23, 2017
This is just an extension of Facebook’s original mantra which was inspired by the increasingly decline of community participation around the world. The company’s CEO believes he’s got the right tool for this new job; Facebook Groups which offer people the opportunity to find common ground which enables them to become exposed to common information and ideas, connect more efficiently with like-minded individuals around the world.
Perhaps, one key benefit of being part of “meaningful groups” is the potential for that network to help members from a range of backgrounds and perspectives connect over shared values. According to Zuckerberg, of its almost 2 billion monthly users, about 1 billion are part of Facebook groups but only 100 million of users belong to what he describes as, “meaningful groups.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s initial objectives may have been motivated by political ambitions but whatever the case might be for this elaborate change in the company’s social mission, we may be able to understand in the future as things become clearer.
The company has explored artificial intelligence (AI) to identify users and groups trying to engage in terrorist activities and recruiting. On Thursday this week, the company rolled out a number of new AI tools to help Group administrators to better manage their ‘new communities’:
- Group Insights, a real-time metrics panel
- Membership request filtering tool which allows admins to organize requests through categories like gender and location
- Removed member cleanup tool which enables admins to automatically delete former users’ data
- Post-scheduling tool
- As well as group-to-group-linking to allow admins recommend similar groups to their members which is aimed at helping sub-communities interact with each other.
These virtual communities which Mark Zuckerberg has expanded upon are expected to build more engaging environments for users with common ideas, beliefs and culture. These new group admin tools will act as Facebook’s monitoring weapon and control of counterfeit information and extremist activities.