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The digital Genghis Khans have more to do to stop social media from wrecking civilisation

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg could yet stop companies like his from undermining the foundations of society Credit: STEPHEN LAM/ REUTERS

Let us recall how a decade ago people known to be investment bankers started to introduce themselves at dinner parties as “financial executives”, “compliance officers” or even “accountants”, to avoid the inevitable loathing and obloquy that would come were the truth to be known. Mark Zuckerberg, the man who is Facebook, may be taking the same route.

Aware, perhaps, of the true cost of his billions – a cost measured not least in the extent of the human frailty that his immensely successful business has exploited – he is altering his medium’s news feed to include more information about a user’s friends and family, and less about the great issues of the day. This will, he says, make his users happier, even if it loses him money. Yet it might also, even now, prevent him from becoming one of the great civilisation-wreckers of history, a type of digital Genghis Khan.

One should declare an interest....

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