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Building Global Community

from: http://pixelbay.com

PBS Newshour reported last week that Mark Zuckerberg posted a 6,000 word manifesto Building Global Community, wherein we are “spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science… 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.”

This comes at a time when we are experiencing a frightening rise in nationalism and isolationism, both in Europe and the U. S.

What does it mean for Facebook, a social media company primarily focused on friends and family, to branch out to “develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to guild a global community that works for all of us?

Zuckerberg asks,

  • “How do we help people build supportive communities that strengthen traditional institutions in a world where membership in these institutions is declining?
  • How do we help people build a safe community that prevents harm, helps during crises and rebuilds afterwards in a world where anyone across the world can affect us?
  • How do we help people build an informed community that exposes us to new ideas and builds common understanding in a world where every person has a voice?
  • How do we help people build a civically-engaged community in a world where participation in voting sometimes includes less than half our population?
  • How do we help people build an inclusive community that reflects our collective values and common humanity from local to global levels, spanning cultures, nations and regions in a world with few examples of global communities?”

Syracuse Cultural Workers have graphics that promote many practical ways to help build a global community, but none rely on social media as the engine.

For my social media friends who are repulsed by young people glued to their smartphones, consider that perhaps social media can also be our savior and truly bring us together and counter the negative forces of fear, hate, self-interest and isolationism?

The New York Times questions Zuckerberg’s motivations for the manifesto, acknowledging Facebook’s shifting role as a distributor of news, saying that the social network is not just technology or media.

Madeline Buxton writes, “While this statement is a call to action for Facebook, it’s also a call to action for all of us — its users. We are and have been part “of this global community and it’s our responsibility, just as it is Facebook’s, to foster the kinds of constructive conversations and sense of community that we want to see in our Newsfeed.”

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