2016 is finally in the books, and it’s safe to say that Facebook had a rough one. From the still-going fake news controversy to the usual array of privacy and censorship issues, Facebook garnered a lot of negative press over the past year. That’s one reason — though maybe not the only one — that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to have visited or met people from all 50 states in 2017.
“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I want to personally hear more of those voices this year.”
It might be an admirable New Years resolution from Zuckerberg to better connect with his site’s users, but others have noted that it could be the first step toward a political career for the tech leader. Last month, it came to light that Zuckerberg pushed the Facebook board to allow him to maintain control of the company if he leaves for a political or government position. And on Christmas Day this year, Zuckerberg announced that he is no longer an atheist (for electability purposes, most politicians claim a religion). Zuckerberg has also increasingly taken public political stances, using his keynote address at Facebook’s annual developers conference to speak out against president-elect Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border.
It’s all just speculation for now, but it’s a scary thought to imagine a man with access to so much of our private data running for office. Facebook is a social platform with over 1.7 billion active users, and how it could be used as a mouthpiece for a political candidate is frightening.