February 26, 2017
Dear Mark Zuckerberg,
I read your manifesto and I am writing to introduce myself and invite your input.
My name is Karen Gross. I am a hopeful and concerned American. Texas raised and educated by public schools; I am a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a business owner and an advocate. I hold in high esteem people who speak truth to power.
Your manifesto outlines the many powerful ways Facebook adds value to the global community. For all you’ve done to intentionally foster a more civil society, you should be proud. You’ve done big things.
I suspect that your 19-year-old self could never have imagined the international Goliath you were creating. As a sophomore in college, you had the spirit of youth, the privilege of being a white male in America, ambition and nothing to lose.
As we now see, you created a social networking platform with a limited vision. As a consequence, Facebook has contributed to a damaged democracy. Your manifesto is an admission of that.
Today, I imagine the burden you carry is heavy. It should be. You have profited wildly from your company. And by your own design you have limited/controlled users’ abilities to contribute to being a part of the systemic solution.
Your efforts to course correct are commendable. I hope you find success.
Here is where I seek your input.
How would you have done it differently from the onset? If you had the chance to start from scratch, what would you do?
You’re a giant. A world change agent. But it wasn’t that long ago that you were a kid in your dorm room believing in an idea. Like your 19-year-old self, I have a vision I believe can change the world.
I welcome the opportunity to hear and learn from you and to share this vision.
Karen E. Gross, Esq.