Mark Zuckerberg urges people to take action against backlash to globalisation

Posted February 19, 2017

"In recent campaigns around the world - from India and Indonesia across Europe to the United States - we've seen the candidate with the largest and most engaged following on Facebook usually wins".

For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and family members; going forward, it wants to develop the social infrastructure for a connected, global community, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in the almost 6,000-word letter today.

Finally, after a long 2016, Zuckerberg and Facebook are committing themselves to fixing all of these issues.

"My hope is that more of us will commit our energy to building the long term social infrastructure to bring humanity together", Zuckerberg wrote.

Since its inception Facebook has been evolving non-stop.

On the safety front, Mr Zuckerberg talks about its deployment of amber alerts to rescue kidnapped children as well as Facebook features like safety check, where users can alert loved ones that they are safe in the case of an attack or natural disaster.

He is not, however, suggesting taking a hard-line approach against fake news: "Our approach will focus less on banning misinformation, and more on surfacing additional perspectives and information, including that fact checkers dispute an item's accuracy", he wrote.

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"Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community", he said. "With a broader range of controls, content will only be taken down if it is more objectionable than the most permissive options allowed and Facebook will also block content based on standards and local laws", Zuckerberg added.

Most Facebook users use the social media platform to connect with friends and family or read news, but Zuckerberg said the social network of almost 2 billion people would try to encourage "social infrastructure". In the letter, Zuckerberg explained that the platform is getting closer to its next step, and while its greatest opportunities as spreading prosperity and freedom are now global, global challenges as fighting climate change, preventing pandemics or ending terrorism also needs a global response.

Zuckerberg's missive was likely related to the new White House, but he opted to keep his reasons vague.

"We are researching systems that can read text and look at photos and videos to understand if anything risky may be happening".

Zuckerberg's statement is a political one, given nationalist movements that have sprung up in several countries, including the USA with the election of President Donald Trump.

Zuckerberg mentions that Facebook is using artificial intelligence to reduce the spread of what it deems "sensationalist" news stories. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg said that Facebook can save "people's lives" by using AI to detect signs of bullying or self-harm.