Mark Zuckerberg has shared a lengthy new letter explaining his vision for the future of Facebook.
The post is Zuckerberg’s first revision to the original founder’s letter he wrote ahead of Facebook’s public offering more than five years ago. The updated manifesto makes Facebook sound more like a globalist movement than a for-profit company – the word “community” is used 80 times and Zuckerberg ends the letter with an idealistic quote by Abe Lincoln.
“For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families,” Zuckerberg writes in his updated letter. “With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all.”
Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives have previously shared many of the values in his letter already, but this is the most cohesive, all-encompassing look at how Facebook sees the world to date.
Zuckerberg’s letter is long at nearly 6,000 words. If you’re curious about its key points, here they are:
Facebook cares about getting people together in the physical world, not just on the internet. One billion Facebook users are active members of groups, and Zuckerberg sees those as ways to help facilitate real world interactions. Facebook sees a responsibility to help people stay safe. Features like Safety Check, which lets users mark themselves as safe during a disaster, are important to the company’s future. “Going forward, there are even more cases where our community should be able to identify risks related to mental health, disease or crime,” Zuckerberg wrote. Facebook has a roleto keep people informed. “It is our responsibility to amplify the good effects and mitigate the bad,” wrote Zuckerberg. That seems like a battle cry against the onslaught of fake news that Facebook has tried to combat in recent months. Artificial intelligence will be key in keeping hate speech and graphic content off Facebook. “We hope to begin handling some of these cases in 2017, but others will not be possible for many years,” according to Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg ends his letter with a quote from former US President Abe Lincoln: “We can succeed only by concert. It is not ‘can any of us imagine better?’ but, ‘can we all do better?’ The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, act anew.”
If you’re curious to read Zuckerberg’s full letter, you can find it on his Facebook page.