Analysis: Facebook Announces New Mission

Facebook on a laptop screen in Manila. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook has a new mission: to bring the world closer together.

That’s according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who made the announcement at Facebook’s Community Summit meeting in Chicago on Thursday.

Is it an old motto?

“For the past decade, we've focused on making the world more open and connected,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

“It's not enough to simply connect the world; we must also work to bring the world closer together,” he wrote. “The full mission statement is: ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together’.” (sic)


To do this, Zuckerberg highlighted Facebook Groups at the conference in Chicago, and he unveiled new tools to support the group admins. But it was unclear how such tools -- in and of themselves -- would bring the world closer together.

At the conference, Facebook invited 100 group admins who have access to the tool to foster community. Admins could conceivably use Groups to spread divisiveness instead of togetherness, though.

Is Facebook's new mission nothing more than marketing spin?

Facebook came under heavy scrutiny after the election for spreading fake news, propaganda and conspiracy theories. Then there are the videos, which have shown Facebook users murdering and brutalizing people. Not to mention the trolling.  And it’s difficult to understand how a company that’s been slow (and sometimes dismissive) of policing hate and violence will get different results from its Groups.