In an exclusive interview with CNN, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled his company’s new mission: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
Right now, I think the most important thing we can do is bring people closer together. It’s so important that we’re going to change Facebook’s whole mission to take this on.For the past decade, we’ve focused on making the world more open and connected. We’re not done with that. But I used to think that if we just gave people a voice and helped them connect, that would make the world better by itself. In many ways it has. But our society is still divided. Now I believe we have a responsibility to do even more. It’s not enough to simply connect the world, we must also work to bring the world closer together.We need to give people a voice to get a diversity of opinions out there, but we also need to build enough common ground so we can all make progress together. We need to stay connected with people we already know and care about, but we also need to meet new people with new perspectives. We need support from family and friends, but we also need to build communities to support us as well.
What will facilitate these important discussions? Facebook Groups, Zuckerberg said to CNN Tech’s Laurie Segall.
Zuckerberg also told Segall, “A lot of what we can do is to help create a more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues as well.” This is a large departure from making family and friend posts the dominant theme on Facebook.
This goes along the lines of a letter he authored earlier this year to make Facebook more open to diverse opinions — conservative ones included.
With respect to free speech, Zuckerberg said this:
“An important aspect of freedom of speech is that you need to be able to get pretty close to offensive,” said Zuckerberg. Disagreeable content is allowed, “as long as it’s not hate speech or way over the line,” he added.
This is Zuckerberg’s first major media appearance since 2012. The Facebook CEO was notably absent from a tech meeting with President Trump earlier this citing a “scheduling conflict.”
Zuckerberg certainly has his obtuse social justice opinions, but as the leader of the largest social media platform out there–with 1.9 billion users and counting–he recognizes his company’s responsibility to facilitate discussion and meaningful conversations.