Mark Zuckerberg pitches to represent the "global community"
The velocity of the times never ceased to surprise and amaze... So now Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has written a 4000 word manifesto on the responsibilities of his company to build "global community" - or to be specific, five different kinds: supportive, safe, informed, civically-engaged and inclusive.
Of course this is a businessman's attempt to defend his brand and product against attacks. Particularly around the charge that Facebook's algorithms and operations feed its users with fake or tailored news, building a "filter bubble" around them, and thus fomenting polarisation and misunderstanding in society.
Many have lost hope for the future.
For a couple of decades, maybe longer, people have really sold this idea that as the world comes together everything is going to get better. I think the reality is that over the long term that will be true, and there are pieces of infrastructure that we can build to make sure that a global community works for everyone.
But I do think there are some ways in which this idea of globalisation didn't take into account some of the challenges it was going to create for people, and now I think some of what you see is a reaction to that.
"If people are asking the question, is the direction for humanity to come together more or not? I think that answer is clearly yes. But we have to make sure the global community works for everyone. It is not just automatically going to happen.
All these different kinds of institutions, whether they are governments, or non-profits, or companies, need to do their part in building this infrastructure to empower people so that it creates opportunities for everyone, not just some people.
If you are upset about the direction things are going in, I hope you don't just sit around and be upset, but you feel urgent about building the long term infrastructure that needs to get built."
The postcapitalist writer Paul Mason anticipated in November that liberal tech moguls might become active alliance builders with other movements in society, as they see political upheavals threatening both their business models and worldview. Let's see what the response is to Zuckerberg's call from "communities" themselves.