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Facebook: Give peace a poke

The social network is part of something called "Peace Dot," a forthcoming initiative from Stanford University to promote global peace and anti-violence activism.

One of the charts from Facebook showing friend connections across conflict zones.

Facebook's executives have been saying for a long time that they believe they've built something that can make the world a better place. And now they've launched a hub for that, called "Peace on Facebook."

"Facebook is proud to play a part in promoting peace by building technology that helps people better understand each other," the site explains. "By enabling people from diverse backgrounds to easily connect and share their ideas, we can decrease world conflict in the short and long term."

It appears to be part of something launching from a group affiliated with Stanford University on Tuesday night, called "Peace Dot," and other Web companies will be announced as partners soon.

Right now, it consists primarily of some links to anti-violence activist groups, charts showing Facebook friend connections made between people across ethnic and religious groups with a history of conflict, polls about the viability of world peace, and a "Share Your Thoughts" widget--basically, one of the status update widgets that Facebook rolled out a few months ago.

There's also a link back to Facebook for Good, the nonprofit initiative that the social network launched when it hit 200 million active users around the world this spring.

Facebook's promotes its role in global affairs regularly: it launched a variety of media and voter-registration partnerships during the 2008 presidential elections, for example, and rushed out a translated version of its site in the Farsi language amid reports that it had become an organizing point for activists in the Iranian political crisis this summer.