Prime Minister Narendra Modi found special mention as Mark Zuckerberg put forth Facebook’s vision for the coming years.
Talking about how citizens are engaging with their government beyond the ballot box, Zuckerberg said, “Beyond voting, the greatest opportunity is helping people stay engaged with the issues that matter to them every day, not just every few years at the ballot box. We can help establish direct dialogue and accountability between people and our elected leaders. In India, Prime Minister Modi has asked his ministers to share their meetings and information on Facebook so they can hear direct feedback from citizens.”
Since taking over as prime minister, Modi has had a strong engagement with Facebook, including the hugely publicised Townhall meeting in the fall of 2015.
The statement also added that in Kenya, whole villages are using WhatsApp, Facebook-owned messaging service, to communicate with each other and their representatives.
The social media czar was also quick to point out the power of a strong Facebook presence in winning elections around the world, something that India has been witness to since the run-up to the general elections of 2014. “ In recent campaigns around the world -- from India and Indonesia across Europe to the United States -- we’ve seen the candidate with the largest and most engaged following on Facebook usually wins. Just as TV became the primary medium for civic communication in the 1960s, social media is becoming this in the 21st century,” Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook CEO said progress now requires “humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.” He offered Facebook to bring people closer and together.
“When we began, this idea was not controversial. Yet now, across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”