Facebook’s Zuckerberg Pushes Globalization as Some U.S. Leaders Turn Inward

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, photographed in a meeting with conservative commentators in 2013, has once again affirmed his commitment to globalization.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, photographed in a meeting with conservative commentators in 2013, has once again affirmed his commitment to globalization. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP-Getty Images)

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is affirming his commitment to globalization at a time when that ideology is coming under fire in the U.S. and some European countries. 

“Our greatest opportunities are now global,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 5,800-word post on the social network. “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.”

Zuckerberg’s Thursday post doesn’t name President Trump or the rise of white nationalism and anti-immigration attitudes in the United States. In an interview with Recode, he said he’d been mulling over the ideas for a while. But there’s no denying that current events were a motivator.

“In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us,” Zuckerberg wrote in his post.

The mission of creating a global community, or “making the world more open and connected,” has been Facebook’s foundation. It’s an idea that Zuckerberg noted wasn’t controversial when the social network started more than a decade ago. Of course that’s changed, with nationalism and anti-globalization sentiments on the rise in the U.S. and Europe.

Zuckerberg is getting kudos for his positions — being “woke” — and realizing the immense social power Facebook yields, especially in news. A majority of American adults get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. And Facebook has arguably been key to the success of movements like #blacklivesmatter and the recent Women’s March.

But Zuckerberg’s post also displays the naiveté for which Silicon Valley companies routinely get slammed. That is, there’s been a magical thinking that access to information, connecting people and making consumption clickable, in and of themselves, will make the world a better place.

In his open letter, Zuckerberg also outlined several other current social problems that Facebook will help solve. Among them: building a supportive and civic-minded community, as well as tackling fake news.

Facebook has acknowledged fake news on its platform as a problem and has partnered with fact-checkers to try to filter it out.

“Accuracy of information is very important,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We know there is misinformation and even outright hoax content on Facebook, and we take this very seriously. We’ve made progress fighting hoaxes the way we fight spam, but we have more work to do.”

Author

Queena Sook Kim

Queena Sook Kim is the Senior Editor of the Silicon Valley Desk. In this role, she covers the intersection of technology and life in the Bay Area. 

Before taking this post, Queena was the host of The California Report. The daily morning show airs on KQED in San Francisco, one of the nation’s largest NPR affiliates, and on 30 stations across the state. In that role, she produces and reports on news, politics and life in the Golden State. Queena likes to take sideways look at the larger trends changing the state. One of her favorite stories asked why Latino journalists “over’pronounce” their Spanish surnames as a way of looking at how immigration is creating a culture shift in California.

Before joining The California Report, Queena was a Senior Reporter covering technology for Marketplace, the daily business show that airs on public radio. Queena covered daily tech business stories and reported on larger technology trends. She did a series of stories looking at role of social engineering in hacking and on a start-up in Silicon Valley that’s trying to use technology, instead of animals, to make meat that bleeds.

Queena started her career as a business journalist at the Wall Street Journal, where she spent four years covering the paper, home building and toy industries. She wrote A1 stories about the unusually aggressive tactics KB Home took against its home buyers. and the resurgence of “Cracker” architecture in Florida. She also wrote section front stories on marketing trends and

As a journalist, Queena has spent much of her career helping start-up editorial products. She was on the founding editorial team of The Bay Citizen, an experimental, online news site in San Francisco that was funded by the late hillbilly billionaire Warren Hellman. In 2009, Queena received a grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to start-up a podcast called CyberFrequencies, which reported on the culture of technology. She also helped start-up two radio shows - Off-Ramp and Pacific Drift - for KPCC, the NPR-affiliate in Los Angeles. Off-Ramp was awarded 1st Place for news and Public Affairs programming by the PRINDI and the L.A. Press club. Queena’s stories have appeared on NPR’s Day to Day, Hearing Voices, WNYC’s Studio 360, WBUR’s Here and Now, BBC’s Global Perspectives and New York Times’ multimedia page.

In 1994, Queena won a Fulbright Grant to teach and study in Seoul, South Korea. She was also selected to be a Teach For America Corps Member in 1991 and taught elementary school in the Inglewood Unified School District in Southern California.

Queena is a frequent public speaker and has given talks at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, PRINDI conference and the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp. Queena went to UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and graduated cum laude from New York University with a B.A. in Politics. She grew up in Southern California and lives in Berkeley, Ca in a big fixer on which she spends most weekends, well, fixing.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor