Facebook Emphasizes on the Need to "Bring the World Closer"

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At its first Communities Summit held in Chicago, Facebook IncFB announced that it has added a new tenet to its mission. Facebook's mission so far has been to connect the world and make it more open.

However, yesterday, in a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social media platform could do more as a part of its responsibility. He added that the society still remains "divided." As a result, merely connecting the world isn't enough. Zuckerberg further stated that Facebook's new mission now is to "bring the world closer together."

Facebook's new mission statement is to "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together". Zuckerberg believes that Facebook's "Groups" will be instrumental in forging a strong community. Launched in 2010, Groups is currently used by over 1 billion people across the globe.

In a blog post, Facebook introduced a few new features to Groups. With Group Insights, administrators can now have a better idea about growth and engagement metrics. To cut down the time taken to add a new member, Facebook has added a membership request filter. This allows filtering requests based on certain common grounds apart from enabling accepting/rejecting all requests at one go.

Moreover, admins can now easily create and schedule posts on a specific day and time, adds the blog post. Group admins can also remove any member along with the barrage of the content created by that particular user in just one step.

At present, Facebook is testing another feature called Group-to-Group linking. This will allow admins to suggest similar groups to the members.

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For some time now, the company has been under tremendous pressure because of the fake news menace. Last year, fake news dissemination on its platform was widely regarded as the primary reason for the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Presidential elections. This was a massive jolt for the company. Apart from Facebook, Twitter TWTR and Alphabet GOOGL have also been accused of spreading fake stories, resulting in the surprising elections outcome.

After initially rejecting the allegations, Zuckerberg changed his stance on the matter. In an extensive blog post on Nov 19, 2016, Zuckerberg said that Facebook was taking misinformation "seriously", but added that the "percentage of misinformation is relatively small."

Ever since, Facebook has been on damage control mode. Apart from availing the help of third parties for better verification of news and the option of "labeling stories" that are flagged, Facebook has also declared that it is "raising the bar for stories that appear in related articles under links in News Feed." The company stated that it will also scrutinize ads that promote bogus stories for monetary gains. Lastly, it added that it will work with the entire news industry to improve its fact-checking systems.

Facebook and Twitter have also collaborated with 30 odd news/tech outlets like the New York Times NYT , CNN and BuzzFeed, to be a part of the network called First Draft Coalition, to curb the fake news menace.

Also, to address the rising public image issues of the company, earlier this year, Zuckerberg announced that he will tour all the 50 states and meet people from every state to understand their mindsets.

All these initiatives put forth by Zuckerberg have made rumor mills work overtime. It is widely speculated that eventually he will run for the White House. However, Zuckerberg continues to deny all rumors.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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