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[liberationtech] Facebook: Building Global Community - What's your response to Mark Zuckerberg?

Steven Clift clift at
Sun Feb 19 09:09:29 PST 2017

Quickly now ... I've been building an open source-based, public
creative commons structured, non-profit, members-supported
citizens-based network for twenty-years.

Here is the sad truth:

1. The general public doesn't care ... enough anyway, they want online
spaces that work for them - the more familiar the better
2. People who support this model in theory don't donate, foundations
mostly just give freedom lip service online or fund elites
3. The technologists who could build out the open source tool we use don't help
4. The resistance by most people to signing up for anything new makes
it almost impossible to serve new communities
5. The economic and social diversity of people we can reach via
Facebook is far more inclusive than on our own platform
6. We do generate donations from our neighborhood participants, and
much less so from our forums that are about political city and
state-wide politics, but all the venture money in NextDoor and their
gated community model is finally eroding our public model where we've
been strongest (I'll take an "open" Facebook Group any day over the
NextDoor connect all the wealthier homeowners model any day!)

So, if you value the power people get in democracy from connecting
with each other for two-way conversations, you need to reach them
where they are.

When it comes to Facebook, I've concluded that shaping it for good,
for more local online group formation in public life (my big passion),
will generate more democratic value than ignoring it.

Steven Clift  -  Executive Director,
   clift at  -  +1 612 234 7072
   @democracy  - - My radio app

On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 4:23 PM, Yosem Companys <companys at> wrote:
> I know. I agree.
> I have never been thrilled with Steven's selection of Facebook for
> pro-democracy groups.
> To protect your privacy and security, stay off Facebook.
> But, to build movements, create an account on Facebook (or Twitter or any
> other dominant centralized social network) and try to get as many people to
> join.
> One vision we had on Diaspora was to create a HootSuite like app that would
> integrate all of your social networking sites on one dashboard and enable
> you to decide how public you wanted to be. You wanted to connect with a
> friend? You could do it directly from your own server to your friend's own
> server without an intermediary. You wanted to advertise something more
> broadly on Facebook or Twitter? You could do that too. Unfortunately,
> Diaspora never moved away from its pod focus to build a better HootSuite.
> On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 1:57 PM, Cristina [efecto99] <efecto99 at>
> wrote:
>> On 17/02/17 17:24, Thomas Delrue wrote:
>> On February 17, 2017 1:32:46 PM EST, Steven Clift <clift at>
>> wrote:
>> I invite everyone to read and comment on Mark Zuckerberg's important
>> "Building Global Community" letter:
>> This is a special Facebook Group I've created to connect lots of
>> disparate communities for a unified conversation that I will share
>> with my contacts at Facebook.
>> You'll find a link to his letter and posts organized by the five key
>> questions Mark asks and posts to share media reports and more:
>> Or jump straight to his letter:
>> Also, while I don't have my first tele meeting with a foundation on
>> this until next week, now seems like a good time to share
>> E-Democracy's draft proposal for Local Civic Facebook Groups:
>> Zuckerberg's letter highlights the absolutely vital role of "engaged
>> leaders" creating "meaningful groups." E-Democracy's magic mix is
>> supporting YOU - those leaders - in local communities working to
>> create local community and civic life Facebook Groups that foster
>> inclusive and supportive local online communities that foster civic
>> engagement and informed communities. So, if you want to add your city
>> to the list of the 22 cities with volunteer interest, email me -
>> clift at - with "Civic Facebook Groups" in the subject
>> line. We drafted most of this proposal in December, so we are ecstatic
>> that Facebook's next mission is so well aligned with our scrappy work.
>> Thanks,
>> Steven Clift
>> P.S. You can jump in deeper now (we are just getting started):
>> "Facebook guy tells world it needs to use more Facebook or face bad
>> times",  is that roughly the right summary of his 'insights' or am I way
>> off?
>> --
>> Thomas
>> (Sent from my mobile device,  please forgive brevity or typos.)
>> It seems as a joke if wouldn't be posted HERE, on *Liberation tech*
>> mailing list: since when Facebook serves to the liberation of people!? I
>> must be reading a lot of fake news about Facebook the last....5 years? (and
>> i think I'm getting short).
>> So funny...
>> My 1st impulse to answer this email was to simply put:
>> One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
>> One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
>> In the Land of Mordor   Surveillance where the Shadows lie.
>> 99
>> --
>> Esta comunicación puede ser legal y/o ilegalmente recogida, almacenada y
>> utilizada por distintos actores. Si duda sobre el contenido a compartir,
>> evite enviarlo sin cifrar.
>> --
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> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations of
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