Mark Zuckerberg is arguably the most influential person in the world. He launched Facebook in 2004 and changed the way people interact. Over half of the population of the United States uses his platform, and millions more from all over the world log-in to Facebook as well. But has Facebook been good for the world? Does Facebook have to much political pull?
Zuckerberg, a Harvard graduate, returned to school to give an uplifting speech to students in 2017. He challenged students to change the world, fix climate change, and cure all diseases. Zuckerberg’s influence on the world can’t be ignored, but is his actual creation – Facebook – equally as good for up-and-coming generations?
Facebook is great for communicating with friends and family, but it is also great at keeping people in a bubble. The platform is completely customizable, allowing people to pick and choose their interests and only see things they already agree with. This is especially damaging to people’s political beliefs. They can flood their feed with viewpoints they already agree with, ignoring the opposite party’s opinions. This promotion of close-mindedness can keep people in the dark about real issues, often formulating opinions without all the facts. Facebook was meant to bring us all together, but it has divided us instead.
People are communicating their political beliefs to each other, but both sides are often ignorant of the viewpoint of the other, leading the conversation nowhere.
Facebook’s influence on politics doesn’t merely pertain to its user base. Facebook, in many ways, is too big to fail. Politicians have shown an unwillingness to hold Facebook accountable. For example, Zuckerberg was let off when it was discovered that Russia purchased advertisements on his platform to influence the 2016 election. Aside from a hearing in front of Congress, Zuckerberg faced no repercussions for the unwise decision of allowing foreign influence on Facebook.
Facebook, which began as a platform for college students to get to know each other, has evolved into an influencer in everyone’s everyday life. Facebook controls what advertisements we see, how we communicate, and their algorithms even decide which friends appear in our feed most often. Overall, Facebook has brought us all closer together, but the overwhelming influence Facebook has on politics cannot be ignored.