Speculation Mark Zuckerberg wants to run for presidency reaches fever pitch

By Victoria Craw

He's changed his company policy, starting quoting Lincoln and is going on a tour of 30 states. Does Zuckerberg have his eyes on the Oval Office? Photo / Bloomberg
He's changed his company policy, starting quoting Lincoln and is going on a tour of 30 states. Does Zuckerberg have his eyes on the Oval Office? Photo / Bloomberg

Does Mark Zuckerberg want to be President?

That's the question on everyone's lips following the 5500 word missive the Facebook founder published Thursday on globalisation, focusing on what he called "the most important question of all: Are we building the world we want?"

In a piece entitled Building Global Community, the 32-year-old wrote about the opportunity for people to come together in a newly connected world.

"Our greatest opportunities are now global - like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science," he said.

"Our greatest challenges also need global responses - like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics.

Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community."

In a piece that quoted Abraham Lincoln, he addressed the populist movements that have led to a backlash against globalisation around the world.

While he didn't name President Trump directly, the man worth $68 billion wrote about the importance of Facebook helping to build supportive, safe, informed, civically engaged and inclusive communities, saying he wants the company to play a greater role in helping bring people together.

The two most discussed concerns this past year were about diversity of viewpoints we see (filter bubbles) and accuracy of information (fake news).
Mark Zuckerberg

"I am reminded of President Lincoln's remarks during the American Civil War: "We can succeed only by concert. It is not 'can any of us imagine better?' but, 'can we all do better?' The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, act anew," he said.

The timely piece name checked a number of the events that have dominated the political scene in the last 12 months and left politicians and the media struggling for answers such as the rise of "fake news" and violent clashes during Black Lives Matter.

"The two most discussed concerns this past year were about diversity of viewpoints we see (filter bubbles) and accuracy of information (fake news)," he said.

"I worry about these and we have studied them extensively, but I also worry there are even more powerful effects we must mitigate around sensationalism and polarisation leading to a loss of common understanding," he said.

It comes after months of speculation the web entrepreneur has his eyes on the White House following his increasing forays into the political scene.

The company has admitted he could voluntarily take leave of his CEO post and "serve in a government position or office". He has also hired President Obama's former campaign manager to work at his Chan Zuckerberg foundation and embarked on a tour of 30 US states.

Colleagues have even spoken of his desire to be "emperor" after apparently quoting literary classics during staff meetings.

Despite speculation the billionaire is keeping tight-lipped on his intentions for now. When asked directly by the BBC if he could imagine himself going into politics he said: "I am not doing that now, it's not the plan."

"The thing I really care about is connecting the world."

But who knows - it wouldn't be the first time a billionaire has taken a political gamble and won.

- news.com.au

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