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Mark Zuckerberg Compares Facebook To ‘Churches’ and ‘Community Support Groups’

Mark Zuckerberg recently stated his desire to have Facebook act as a community for its users, replacing “churches” and “community support groups.”

Speaking at Facebook’s first Communities Summit in Chicago last week, Mark Zuckerberg discussed a number of topics, including Facebook’s new mission statement which was changed from “connecting the world” to a new goal, to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” Following criticism that Facebook was complicit in the spread of “fake news,” Zuckerberg stated, “Our mission of connecting people, that was not supposed to be controversial. So now the question is, why is that a controversial thing, and how do you rebuild that?”

CNBC reports that later at the rally, the Facebook CEO discussed the use of Facebook as a community tool to bring it’s users closer together, “It’s so striking that for decades, membership in all kinds of groups has declined as much as one-quarter,” said Zuckerberg during the Communities Summit, “That’s a lot of people who now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else.” He then seemed to liken Facebook to a church of sorts, “People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity — not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community.”

Zuckerberg stated his desire to have Facebook act as a networking tool to help people connect and develop communities and the importance of community leaders and moderators, “A church doesn’t just come together.” he said, “It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter. A little league team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”

Zuckerberg stated that after seeing how easy it was to spread fake news across the Facebook platform, the company had developed AI to help prevent the spread of misinformation and to make it easier to organize and suggest online communities to users, “We started a project to see if we could get better at suggesting groups that will be meaningful to you. We started building artificial intelligence to do this. And it works. In the first six months, we helped 50% more people join meaningful communities.”

The CEO stated that it was now his goal to have one billion Facebook users join communities. “If we can do this, it will not only turn around the whole decline in community membership we’ve seen for decades; it will start to strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together.” This is a goal that Zuckerberg believes is so important, “we’re going to change Facebook’s whole mission to take this on.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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