All we are saying is give Facebook a chance

I’m sceptical, but when the political elites aren’t really interested in bringing peace, alternatives must be found:

For many of its 300 million enthusiasts, Facebook is a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, track down old sweethearts and share drunken photographs with the world. But the global power of the social networking site is now being harnessed for a rather more laudable aim: the pursuit of world peace.

A joint project between Facebook and the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University – called – is trying to bring together opposing sides in some of the most bitterly divided areas of the planet, encouraging online friendships between Jews and Muslims, US liberals and conservatives, and Turks and Greeks.

By tracking Facebook friendships and crunching the numbers, the site provides a daily snapshot of who is talking to whom and where.

This afternoon, for example, peace.facebook revealed that over the previous 24 hours, there had been 7,339 India-Pakistan connections; 13,790 Greece-Turkey connections, and 5,158 Israel-Palestine connections.

A click on the button for religious contact showed that over the same 24 hours, there had been 53,100 Christians and atheists in touch with each other, 1,250 Muslims and Jews talking, and 667 Sunni-Shia connections. In the US, meanwhile, the number of conservative-liberal connections was 27,896.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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