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Zuckerberg: Facebook Must Stop Nations 'Building Walls'

Mark Zuckerberg issued a call for the Facebook community and its developers to counteract the international trend toward "turning inward" and "building walls," and instead advance the previous century of progress in bringing the world closer together.

Kicking off the annual Facebook F8 developers' conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg noted that the past century has seen nations drawing closer together through advances in transportation, communication, and commerce. But now, he said, he sees momentum reversing that trend.

"As I look around the world, I'm starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community," he said. "I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others. I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet. It takes courage to choose hope over fear. People will always call you naive but it's this hope and optimism that's behind every important step forward."

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Several news outlets played Zuckerberg's statement as an attack on US Presidential candidate Donald Trump (The Verge, BuzzFeed Tech, The Guardian). And building a wall between Mexico and the US is certainly a hallmark of Trump's campaign. But nativist movements are sweeping the US and Europe, going far beyond Trump.

Zuckerberg said Facebook and its developers need to push back against that inward drive.

"Instead of building walls, we can help people build bridges," he said. "Instead of dividing people, we can help bring people together. We do it one connection at a time, one innovation at a time, day after day after day," Zuckerberg said. "That's why I think the work we're doing together is more important now than it's ever been before."

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading.

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