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Wall Street Journal: Zuckerberg Lays Out Broad Vision For Facebook In New Mission Statement

By: Patrycia Piontek

Consequentialism is defined by google as the doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences. Now that’s a broad definition, so let’s use the notes from class. Consequentialism states that (1) acts are morally right just because they maximize the amount of goodness in the world, (2) acts yield the greatest balance of benefits over drawbacks; optimific action, and (3) optimific action maximized utility. This article describes Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the billion dollar Facebook Inc, a social hub for users – and his ambitions of becoming what he calls ‘social infrastructure’.

Zuckerberg does a good job counter arguing the skeptics by saying, with his new inovations, “Facebook can build products that can fight misinformation, detect terrorist propaganda and help users find support in trying times. Facebook will also introduce tools to encourage its users to vote and discuss political issues, both nationally and globally.” He believes that building a new social infrastructure would be beneficial for creating the world we want for future generations to come. Now, Facebook is a grossly used social media site, it has nearly 200 billion users. According to consequentialism, Zuckerberg isn’t pushing this change because he wants to make more money, well he might be, but he also wants his users to have control.

Along with the infrastructure change, the users are given the ability to set parameters o how much nudity, violence, profanity and graphic content they see on their newsfeed. Maximizing Goodness was also brought up in class, and then the actual view was revealed; we must perform the act that creates the greatest net balance of happiness and unhappiness. I think this control on such explicit things is a great maximized goodness.

Zuckerberg displays a utilitarianism attitude when allowing the users to default their own settings on their newsfeed content. I believe his action was morally required just because it does more to improve overall well-being than any other action you could have done in the circumstance. His choice was to let the user decide because if drastic measures were taken and anything could be on the internet and on people’s newsfeed then there would be very many angry people. Then on the other hand if we made Facebook a completely explicit free site, would it impact the users and popularity of the site. Letting people choose is how to ensure as much peace as possible. I say go for it Zuckerberg!



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