Can Facebook Questions Bridge the Blue/Red Divide?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 8:42am

On Wednesday, Facebook began rolling out a new feature: Questions. The idea is simple. You ask a question and the Facebook community can answer. Yes, the ENTIRE Facebook community, not just your friends.

Of course, we've seen something like this before. But Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web thinks that this is something entirely different:

Scale, social software smarts and real identities have the potential to add up to something really magical. Company founder Mark Zuckerberg, wrong as he is about many things like privacy, has said that his goal with Facebook is to build empathy and connection between different people all around the world. If he was in it for the money, he would have taken Yahoo's $1 billion offer years ago and run. That goal of cultural change may very well be served better by Questions than by any other Facebook feature to date. 

His article sites a question about Rush Limbaugh:

The question is one of those that can clearly be taken as bait. But instead of vitriole, we get a sensible, and pretty compelling, answer. Marshall thinks this just might be the first step toward civil dialogue -- and away from the kind of rhetoric that has been so divisive lately.

Is Marshall right? Or is this just another move to position Facebook at the center of all things web, as most of the pundits are saying: