In a long, 6,500-word post, which is already being dubbed his mission statement, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has cited the example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to show the social network helps “establish direct dialogue and accountability between people and our elected leaders”.
“Beyond voting, the greatest opportunity is helping people stay engaged with the issues that matter to them every day, not just every few years at the ballot box. We can help establish direct dialogue and accountability between people and our elected leaders,” he wrote in the Facebook note. “In India, Prime Minister Modi has asked his ministers to share their meetings and information on Facebook so they can hear direct feedback from citizens.”
WATCH VIDEO | Citing PM Modi’s Example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Makes Case For Direct Dialogue
Zuckerberg also cited an example from Kenya where he said entire villages were on WhatsApp groups which also included their representatives.
And underlining a phenomenon that India knows all too well, he wrote that the candidate with the largest and most engaged following on Facebook usually wins in this part of the world. “Just as TV became the primary medium for civic communication in the 1960s, social media is becoming this in the 21st century,” he added.
The Facebook CEO said progress now requires “humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.” He offered Facebook as the solution to bring “us closer together”
“When we began, this idea was not controversial. Yet now, across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”
Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he has no political ambitions, but it is hard to overlook the fact that he now lords over a community of over 1.8 billion people, larger than any country.
Though he did not directly speak about President Donald Trump or name him, he did write about polarisation. “The two most discussed concerns this past year were about diversity of viewpoints we see (filter bubbles) and accuracy of information (fake news). I worry about these and we have studied them extensively, but I also worry there are even more powerful effects we must mitigate around sensationalism and polarization leading to a loss of common understanding.”