Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerburg has tried to learn Mandarin or send one thank-you note a day in previous years / Getty Images

In previous years, the tech mogul has tried to learn Mandarin or send one thank-you note a day

If the customer is always right, then Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg needs to consider shutting down the social media giant for one day a year.

The suggestion is one of the more subversive among the tens of thousands of responses to Zuckerberg’s request for ideas he should consider for his 2015 New Year challenge – an annual event that has become a fixture in the Facebook calendar.

Anthony Fergusson said he should close down the website for 24 hours “with the aim of encouraging people to talk to a new person in real life who they have never spoken with before”.

Others had the same idea likening the day off to “a purge” where people would do something more constructive with their time. Zuckerberg, who replied to several ideas, has yet to respond to that one.

Daniel Cooper suggested he “broaden his perspective” by doing “one menial task per week. I.e. take over a shift for your janitor, someone in the cafeteria, work a shift at Starbucks. Just try to get your feet on the ground with what some people do”.

 

Zuckerberg replied asking: “Does walking my dog and picking up his poop count” to which the answer seemed to be no.

Eradicating game requests was a popular suggestion with one user claiming he would win a Nobel Prize if users who sent Candy Crush saga requests could be deleted. 

A "sorry" button so people don't have to "like" status updates concerning bereavements or other sad news items was well received, but a suggestion to introduce a ‘dislike’ button was met with criticism. Jenny Harrison said it would lead to more online bullying.

Zuckerberg himself has previously spoken of his preference for a "dislike" button, but that he had not yet worked out how to introduce it in a way which would not be misused.

Writing on his public social networking page Zuckerberg said: “Every year I take on a challenge to broaden my perspective and learn something about the world beyond my work at Facebook.

“At our last town hall Q&A, someone asked me what my challenge will be for the new year and I said I’d love ideas from our community. I have an idea of what my next challenge might be, but I'm open to more ideas before the new year officially begins. So share your ideas here!”

More than 55,000 ideas have been posted so far. A suggestion to make products that do not confuse old people has been met with a stony silence while Zuckerberg remained tight-lipped at multiple suggestions that he become a father for the first time, having married his long-term girlfriend Priscilla Chan in May 2012.

For his annual challenge last year, he committed himself to writing one thank-you note a day, while in 2010, inspired by his wife, the daughter of a Chinese-Vietnamese refugee who came to the US after the fall of Saigon, he pledged to learn Mandarin.

This year’s idea treads on safer ground than in 2011, when Zuckerberg pledged to eat animals only if he killed them himself – a challenge that was met a mixture of praise and criticism from animal rights activists.

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