Zuckerberg’s Philanthropic Quest for Power

Inside The F8 Facebook Developers Conference

Mark Zuckerberg may be about to ensure he has absolute power over Facebook. Recent news shows that he seeks to create a new class of voting stock that will make sure he has 100 per cent control of the company, even while holding a small amount of shares. And with his limited liability company – the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – he has pledged to give away 99 per cent of his wealth to charitable causes. Only in this case, he will be funding companies and other initiatives that have a for-profit focus, but serve a charitable agenda. His plan to get 100 per cent control of Facebook seems to indicate that he sees Facebook playing a big role in his plans to change the world. His efforts in Facebook and in philanthropy are going to be separate enterprises no longer; they will from now on be entwined.

This is very intriguing. Zuckerberg may want to socially liberalise America and the world, but also make sure that corporations do very well in this changed world. After all, if he was able to make changes to make things more difficult for corporations and help co-operatives and workers self-directed enterprises (WSDE’s) in the US and worldwide then his company wouldn’t be as powerful as it is now. And I’m sure Zuckerberg wants to maximise its power.

Zuckerberg may want to tailor what people see in the news feed and in the trending stories section to show more socially liberal stories – the trending stories having been a recent controversy in the US. This would create an echo-chamber effect that could influence peoples’ minds. Now, in many ways this is nothing new. Arguably news publishers have tried to influence people to be more business-friendly and to be a bit more right-leaning in their beliefs for decades.



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