Facebook is lending big bucks to a select few — for a cause. The social network is giving a million dollars to as much as five people and hand out $10 million to community leaders who use Facebook and related services "to bring people closer together."
The huge payout is part of the company's Facebook Community Leadership Program, which it unveiled this week at the Communities Summit event in London.
"This program is about finding and supporting great community leaders wherever they are," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post. "It's not just about helping people come together online. A lot of online communities strengthen physical communities by holding get-togethers, organizing events, and supporting each other in their daily lives, even across long distances."
Facebook Community Leadership Program
As mentioned, Facebook is lending $1 million each to five people to fund their ideas on how to bring people closer together. Facebook said its goal is to seek individuals who use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger to bridge the gap between different folks. Facebook will also invite 100 leaders from around the globe that'll participate in its fellowship program, where they'll receive training, mentorship, and be given up to $50,000 "for a specific initiative."
"We are looking for communities that provide meaning to the people that are in them, we are looking for initiatives that drive positive impact, and we are looking for communities that have both online and offline components," said Jennifer Dulski, head of groups and community at Facebook.
The initiative lines up with Zuckerberg's renewed mission for Facebook, which he announced in June 2017. He wants Facebook to be a tool that brings people closer together, not further divide them, as what happened with the 2016 presidential election, for which Facebook received utmost criticism.
The site, which has more than a billion daily active users, has been accused of playing a tremendous role the careless distribution of fake news. Some even accused Facebook being the reason why Donald Trump won the presidency, a notion Zuckerberg vehemently rejected. Later, the CEO admitted that Facebook isn't a traditional social network or media company and that it would take steps to improve the fake news situation.
The move is also a reflection of the CEO's resolution for 2018, which is to fix Facebook and make it a better place.
Interested community leaders can visit Facebook's communities page and explain how they're trying to bring people closer together. It is open to leaders worldwide, and the winners will be chosen by a panel of experts and employees from Facebook.