"We all model our behavior on people around us."

By Lucinda Shen
May 22, 2017
May 22, 2017

“We all model our behavior on people around us,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Friday post on the social media website.

While Facebook’s AI system has generally helped connect people who usually already know each other, Zuckerberg is now hoping to recommend people that users should know.

“This is something I’ve only recently started studying and working with our teams at Facebook to build,” Zuckerberg explained. “My hope is that we can help more people build positive relationships with people who expand their sense of possibility.”

Zuckerberg notes that he was at an Indiana juvenile justice center where some of the juveniles had misbehaved in class, while others had committed murder. But after going through the center, the juveniles were more likely to become criminals than before due to the “negative and self-reinforcing social network.”

For the Facebook CEO, the social media giant could help such kids by providing them with better role models.

“This isn’t a scientific study and it requires further research, but I think there’s something to this idea that your relationships shape your path more than we realize,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg also mentioned several models that Facebook could follow, such as the Peace Corps, which “creates service opportunities where people exchange culture and build new relationships,” or something modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, “where people who have struggled with these challenges and overcome them go on to become mentors for others, with the hope of training them to one day become mentors themselves.”

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