Mark Zuckerberg has revealed his new mission for Facebook at the social network’s first Community Summit in Chicago on Thursday, reports Forbes. The social media magnate revealed his vision to the leaders of over 120 Facebook groups in the form of a vague yet intriguing phrase:
“Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
As part of his mission, Mark Zuckerberg set a goal to help 1 billion individuals join “meaningful” Facebook groups and has created new tools to help group administrators manage their groups and vet members, including a “removed member clean-up” tool that automatically erases all posts made by members who were deleted from the group.
What Is Mark Zuckerberg Really Saying?
While his words and efforts may seem benevolent at first glance, it only takes a cursory examination under the surface to see the intentions that are truly at play. In his speech, Zuckerberg states that Facebook should go beyond its original mission of connecting family and friends, and must now turn its focus to connecting “communities.” While this seems innocent, this is a thinly-veiled attempt to encourage individuals to isolate themselves from their families in favor of “connecting” to people they don’t even know. While this conclusion may seem like a stretch to some, it makes perfect sense when taken as part of the context of the anti-family left-wing agenda that seems bent on destroying any semblance of kinship and tradition left in this country. To the attuned ear, Mark Zuckerberg is crystal clear about his intentions:
“Connecting friends and family has been pretty positive, but I think there is just this collective feeling that we have a responsibility to do more than that and also help build communities and help people get exposed to new perspectives and meet new people — not just give people a voice, but also help build common ground so people can actually move forward together.”
Moving forward towards what, exactly? Zuckerberg’s statement rests upon the false assumption that movement towards liberal ideas is a natural “progress,” as opposed to an artificially imposed sociopolitical paradigm, as all such human movements are. And why exactly do human beings need Facebook to get exposed to “new perspectives”? Forbes explains that individuals can change their perspectives as a result of new relationships and that in order to “productively” debate an issue, folks need to first recognize common ground. That sounds fair enough, but it seems like Mark Zuckerberg may have something else in mind:
“People share more information, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that understanding is shared — that doesn’t mean the perspectives people have are getting closer together…We can help you connect over things that you share before exposing you to debates that are really important to have productively.”
Is it just me or does that sound super Orwellian? The point of debate is to discuss different perspectives, not necessarily for all participants to end up in the same place. The world is rich and intriguing because of differences in opinion, not in spite of them. And why do “connections” need to happen before a person is “exposed” to a debate? A debate should be naturally occurring and operate under few parameters in order to allow the most authentic and free flow of information. It seems like Mark Zuckerberg wants to limit debate under the guise of expanding it.
Are Facebook Groups A Substitute For Real-Life Communities?
Another disturbing aspect of Mark Zuckerberg’s new vision for Facebook is his apparent conviction that online communities are comparable to real-life human connections. In the Forbes article, an example is given of a Facebook group that operates as a sort of online church, with sermons streamed over Facebook Live and informal counseling given through Facebook chat. While a “church” group like this may be useful for individuals with illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from going to an actual church, it is ultimately incomparable to the real-life church-going experience, filled with joyous laughter, empathetic tears, pious solemnity, and friendly hugs. This example is especially disturbing, considering the fact that worshipers often feel a special spiritual connection while being in a physical church. This experience is totally discounted by implying that it could be replaced through an online forum.
The Verge, in another shining piece praising Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto, published a telling quote from the Facebook CEO, in which Zuckerberg stated that part of Facebook’s mission was to “develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us”
Facebook groups could never be a substitute for real-life communities. And a global community could never be a substitute for a local community. Online communities are great, but they are lacking in the qualities of real human interaction as well as the similarities among members that build communities in real life. Folks from the same neighborhood, region, and country have interests that are inherently connected. The further out the frame of reference moves, the less in common a group will have. Mark Zuckerberg is creating a world where individuals connect digitally with citizens all over the globe whose core interests in areas of economy, culture, and values may be at odds — while at the same time neglecting real-life interactions that they could be having in their own communities with folks whose core interests and values they most likely already share.
We mustn’t be fooled by Mark Zuckerberg’s pretty words or the press’ rush to idolize him. Mark Zuckerberg is just another globalist, using Facebook as a tool in the cynical aim to disconnect people from real-life family and friends only to be artificially tethered to evanescent internet “communities.”
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]