In a surprising statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire social media mogul stated that people on the coast should not be deciding the values of everyone else in the world.
In a mission statement titled "Building a Global Community," Zuckerberg detailed the mission for Facebook going forward that focused on connecting everyone across the planet, as the name implies. This includes a voting system. Fast Company sat down with Zuckerberg to have him elaborate on that.
"At the very end of your letter you mention building a global voting system. You’re not talking about political voting. What is that about?"
Zuckerberg explained that part of this voting system is understanding that cultures and lines exist from place to place, and that part of setting up a global community is allowing that community to decide for itself what is best for it, not some people in a state with it's own values and principles.
I was talking about collective decision making. One of the things that we have struggled with recently is how do we have a set of community standards that can apply across a community of almost two billion people. One example that has been quite controversial has been nudity. There are very different cultural norms ranging from country to country. In some places, the idea that showing a woman’s breasts would be controversial feels backwards. But there are other places where images that are at all sexually suggestive, even if they don’t show nudity, just because of a pose, that’s over the line. The question is, in a larger community, how do you build mechanisms so that the community can decide for itself and individuals can decide for themselves where they want the lines to be? This is a tricky part of running this company. In setting the nudity policy, for example, we are not trying to impose our values on folks, we’re trying to reflect what the community thinks. We have come to this realization that a bunch of people sitting in a room in California is not going to be the best way to reflect all the local values that people have around the world. So we need to evolve the systems for collective decision making. It’s an interesting problem. There are certainly going to be a lot more global infrastructure and global enterprises going forward, there just hasn’t been anything at this scale yet.
Zuckerberg went on to explain that there will of course be guidelines. For instance, Facebook will not allow child pornography onto its site, or suggesting violence against a race of people such as the Jews, but when it comes to how Facebook will operate policy-wise in the future, it will be community driven.