Facebook’s new ‘Town Hall’ feature helps you find and contact your government reps – TechCrunch (Mar 15, 2017)
This Town Hall feature from Facebook feels like a natural outgrowth of some of the things Mark Zuckerberg talked about in his recent manifesto. My big worry about that manifesto was that, while it acknowledged some of the problems that had grown out of Facebook’s increasing power over our lives, it seemed to think the solution was more Facebook, not less of it. This tool, for now, looks like a positive step, in that it merely helps connect people in the US with their local and federal representatives – so far, so good. But in the context of some of the things in Zuckerberg’s manifesto about Facebook facilitating new forms of local democracy, I worry that the company has bigger plans for the platform which would insert Facebook more directly into the democratic process. Definitely worth watching closely.
Ever since the US presidential election, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been grappling with what kind of company Facebook is, and its role in the modern world. Zuckerberg’s initial reaction to claims Facebook affected the election was dismissive, but his views seem to be evolving, which is a good thing. Facebook is enormously influential, and needs to recognize that.