Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, and it isn’t particularly close. However, it is also now one of the largest communities in human history—period. According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, Facebook has more monthly active users than there are members of every major world religion except Christianity.
Why does this matter? For one, it’s more than a little concerning that Facebook seems to see itself as playing the role of a church. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as much during a speech earlier this summer.
“A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter,” Zuckerberg said. “A little league team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”
For a social media site to view itself as akin to religion is terrifying. Many users already think that Facebook acts like Big Brother. And with such a staggeringly huge global user base, will Facebook accept the massive responsibility that comes with it? Time will tell, but Facebook’s outsized influence in the world continues to be a concern.