In a 5,000-word post on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon, Zuckerberg weighed in on community, creating a better, more connected world, weeding out fake news and how artificial intelligence is going to help police the social media network.
The tech titan went deep.
“Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: Are we building the world we all want?” he said at the start. “Our greatest opportunities are now global — like spreading prosperity and freedom; promoting peace and understanding; lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science. Our greatest challenges also need global responses — like ending terrorism, fighting climate change and preventing pandemics. Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations but also as a global community.”
He said Facebook’s most important work is to “is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”
A key part of his vision is to create a more-informed community.
“Giving everyone a voice has historically been a very positive force for public discourse because it increases the diversity of ideas shared,” he said. “But the past year has also shown it may fragment our shared sense of reality.”
Zuckerberg pointed to concerns over the past year around the diversity of viewpoints people are exposed to as well as fake news stories.
“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,” he said.
He argued that social media provides more diverse viewpoints than traditional media, but that there’s more to be done.
“Our goal must be to help people see a more complete picture, not just alternate perspectives. We must be careful how we do this,” he said.
Facebook has been working to tweak its news feed, for instance taking into account which stories are forwarded on more when users only see the headline and which are shared after they’re read.
“In general, if you become less likely to share a story after reading it, that’s a good sign the headline was sensational,” Zuckerberg said.
The social media giant is also getting more help from artificial intelligence.
“Right now, we’re starting to explore ways to use AI to tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda so we can quickly remove anyone trying to use our services to recruit for a terrorist organization,” Zuckerberg said.