Facebook, Google, and a handful of others, are Online Drivers of Massive Traffic (ODMTs).
They determine the shape of the Internet, and by extension the direction of civilization. They are built around algorithms optimized for a commercial profit – which is not bad in itself.
There is nothing inherently wrong with ODMTs, nor with the commercial nature of most of them.
On the other hand, free-market societies have an established tradition of questioning the borders of commercial enterprises, when circumstances demand it. We generally don’t want national monuments destroyed in the process of building malls; nor would we want school lessons sponsored by alcoholic beverages.
Facebook, Google, and other ODMTs should stay commercial. But given their role today, it’s reasonable for society to expect some correctives to the pure commercial intent of their algorithms.
In principle, there is a growing consensus that, for instance, a site like Facebook should pay “a bit more attention” to avoid spreading fake news, conspiracy theories, bad science, etc.
The 15mc initiative is a simple yet effective plan to help this happen without disruption, without damage to the legitimate commercial interests of Facebook and other ODMTs, without censorship, without costs for society or governments, without cumbersome and questionable systems of ranking, without taking excessive collective risks.
If the 15mc initiative succeeds, reliable and interesting online sources will just tend to be a bit more popular compared to silly, vacuous or gratuitously shocking sites. As a result, the direction of human civilization will be a bit better.