Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made an interesting observation that will have many people thinking: California shouldn’t determine or define local values. Touching upon his February 2017 Founder’s letter “Building Global Community, ” Zuckerberg said his vision for the platform should be more open-minded, transparent, and multifarious. In an interview with Fast Company, he said the following:
We have come to this realization that a bunch of people sitting in a room in California is not going to be the best way to reflect all the local values that people have around the world. So we need to evolve the systems for collective decision making. It’s an interesting problem. There are certainly going to be a lot more global infrastructure and global enterprises going forward, there just hasn’t been anything at this scale yet.
California–especially Silicon Valley–shouldn’t sway every thing? Imagine that? (I say this as a California native who spent 21+ years growing up and living in the Golden State.) Zuckerberg is right: the incubator for social justice shouldn’t be determining affairs for the rest of the country, let alone the rest of the world. Which is why so many people in Flyover Country rejected Hillary Clinton and voted for Donald Trump in November.
In the Fast Company profile, Zuckerberg also touched upon free speech and click bait –which is well worth the read:
I still believe more strongly than ever that giving the most voice to the most people will be this positive force in society. But the thing is, it’s a work in progress. We talk about wanting to give everyone a voice, but then most people in the world don’t have access to the internet. So if you don’t have the tools to actually share your ideas with everyone, that’s not going to get you very far. We talk about giving people free speech but if they don’t actually, even in a country like the U.S., have the tools to be able to capture a video and share that easily, then there are limits in practice to what you can do. I just view this as a continual thing that every day we can come in and push the line further back on how many people have a voice and how much voice each person has, and we’re going to keep pushing on all of that. It just is this constant work. And at each point, you uncover new issues that you need to solve to get to the next level. Some people will say, oh you tolerate those issues. But the simpler explanation is that the community is evolving. We build new things, that surfaces new issues, we then go deal with those issues, and we keep going. Go back a few years, for example, and we were getting a lot of complaints about click bait. No one wants click bait. But our algorithms at that time were not specifically trained to be able to detect what click bait was. The key was to make tools so the community could tell us what was click bait, and we could factor that into the product. Now it’s not gone a hundred percent but it’s a much smaller problem than it used to be. Today, whether it’s information diversity or misinformation or building common ground, these are the next things that need to get worked on.
Facebook has received criticism for selective bias and targeting of conservatives and Republicans–a claim it’s working on remedying. Yes, there’s bias at times–but that shouldn’t deter conservatives from having an active presence there. The Resurgent’s very own Erick Erickson believes Facebook is a powerful tool our side should be using. (I couldn’t agree more!) Here’s an excerpt from Erick’s May 2016 post on the subject of Facebook’s Conservative Summit from last year:
I’m glad Facebook reached out. I’m glad Mark Zuckerberg was willing to give us face time. He did not have to. Hell, based on the complaints, he could have merely suppressed the story and few would have ever even known.
Instead, he brings in a bunch of conservatives and a few of them decide they have to grandstand while others even go out of their way to say they won’t go to the meeting and they won’t be pawns and Facebook needs to start spreading the wealth around to have a meaningful conversation. Like hell they do. No conservative should make affirmative action and shakedown demands on a private company. That is essentially what some have tried to do.
Although social media is heavily dominated by the Left and social justice platitudes, Zuckerberg, for example, believes every voice should have a say on his platform–including conservatives and Republicans voices. If we want our values to spread far and wide, we need to step outside our echo chamber and engage intelligently with others. Social media helps us bridge that gap!
Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to have a presence on any of the popular social media platforms–whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s good to see Zuckerberg recognizing the importance of social media hubs stepping outside of the Silicon Valley Bubble. What say you?