On January 9, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, has publicly shared what he hopes the digital world would look like in 2030. In a lengthy post on his official Facebook account, he discussed the immense need of the digital space for crystal clear regulations and oversight.
According to Zuckerberg, the Internet had paved the way for the establishment of large digital communities worldwide. As we enter the next decade, he believes that it becomes crucial than ever to have a definite standard of how these communities must be governed. Zuckerberg noted that government regulations could help; however, he emphasized that there is another and perhaps an even better alternative –community self-governance.
In the post, Zuckerberg also discussed social media processes and operations and even used Facebook as an example. He noted that such ecosystems should exist without conciliations in ideals. Notably, there must be compromises between law enforcement and privacy, between safety and freedom of expression, and between the creation of open systems and data confidentiality, among others.
Among the issues he pointed out, Zuckerberg emphasized the rare occasions wherein the community had been given the right answer. Worse, there are cases wherein relevant authorities force the public to recognize the solution without even trying to prove the legitimacy of their decisions. From this standpoint, Facebook’s chief believes that private entities must also be given the right to make decisions of their own that reflect essential, democratic values.
Industry analysts were quick to conclude that Zuckerberg’s “digital governance” term also pertains to the budding ecosystem found within the crypto industry. It makes sense, given that Zuckerberg’s dilemma mirrors where the crypto industry stands right now. Reports being published now and then highlight the struggles that crypto exchanges deal with due to the absence of such compromises. One particular situation pertains to the confusion that surrounds the KYC (Know-Your-Customer) regulations.
It’s worth noting that Zuckerberg’s lengthy post appears as a reiteration of what he had written for the Washington Post’s opinion piece in March 2019. In this article, he discussed the immense need of the Internet for new rules and the roles that governments should play. He specified that governments and relevant authorities must come up with clear and firm regulations, particularly around things like harmful content, data portability, privacy, and elections, among others.
To prove that he is determined to achieve significant changes in the way the digital space is being governed, Zuckerberg mentioned the project that Facebook is currently working on. He noted that they had established an Oversight Board that would allow their users to voice out their concerns to an independent board. Notably, this system would allow them to find out whether a particular content decision should be implemented or not. Zuckerberg believes that if this project becomes successful, the government can use it as a model in governing other online communities in the years to come.