Facebook CEO defends expansion of Internet access

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Candy Crush invitations on Facebook are FINALLY on the way out.

Zuckerberg admitted that some of the tools on Facebook were ‘out of date’ and fail to shield people who don’t play games on Facebook from receiving unwanted invites.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with students at IIT Delhi, where he spoke of his company’s initiatives and addressed issues such as Net Neutrality and Internet access.New Delhi: Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday he believes India will be crucial to getting “the next billion online” and helping to alleviate poverty.

He said: ‘I sent a message to the person who runs the team in charge of our developer platform and I said by the time I do this Town Hall Q&A, I think it would be good if we had a solution to this problem.’ ‘We hadn’t prioritised shutting that down because we just had other priorities but if this is the top thing that people care about then we’ll prioritise that and we’ll do it,’ he said. Speaking of how important providing Internet access to India is, Zuckerberg said his mission was to connect over a billion people who currently don’t have access, a move that could provide health information as well access to jobs. 1:06 p.m: When asked what Facebook was doing to help find missing persons, Zuckerberg spoke of an initiative launched – for now – in the United States and Canada called AMBER Alert. He sounded a lot like Indian politicians, mainly from the saffron camp, who say that although they fully support freedom of expression, it’s also incumbent on those freely expressing themselves to ensure no one’s sentiments got hurt.

Making self-expression sound like the theme of the currently playing movie The Walk, based on the true story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit who tried to walk across on a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center (in those halcyon days when the twin towers hadn’t yet been subjected to bin Laden’s tender ministrations, and consequently still stood). The 31-year-old billionaire gave lighthearted answers to questions including “Why do I get so many requests for (online game) Candy Crush?” and “If you could have a supernatural power what would you wish for?” But he also vigorously defended Facebook’s controversial Internet.org project, which provides free access to the internet, mainly in poor rural communities, in 24 countries including India. Since it launched about a year ago, Zuckerberg said one child had already been found through the initiative. 12:57 p.m: Zuckerberg on the growing number of start-ups: “People before they start a company should know what they are doing. Big companies started with something they cared about.” 12:52 pm: On being asked if Zuckerberg experienced a Eureka moment when he invented Facebook, he said, “The media likes to sensationalise this if I had a Eureka moment, but this is not how the world works.

If, say, the middle class protests, they are instantly reminded that others in India are still worse off than them, and they ought to be wallowing in guilt for the relatively privileged position they enjoy. Facebook is also exploring new ways to increase access in hard-to-reach areas, he said, such as solar-powered planes to “beam down connectivity” and data-light apps that work on slow 2G networks.

Zuckerberg’s trip came after a weekend visit to Tsinghua university in Beijing where he delivered a 20-minute speech in Mandarin, a language he has been studying since 2010. He met India’s tech-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month when the premier toured Facebook on a visit to Silicon Valley, advocating the political power of social media.

What we are trying to do, since the Internet is expensive and you can’t provide the whole internet for free; basic programs, anything that is basically test, low bandwidth would be free. Good Net Neutrality provisions help people,” says Mark Zuckerberg. 12:39 p.m: Zuckerberg was asked by one of the students what he would do if he was given superpowers to which he said, “One of the great things about technology is you can build superpowers for the people around the world. The country is all set to become Facebook’s largest demography sometime next year, it already accounts for close to a tenth of its 1.49 billion monthly active users. The students milled into the hall an hour before Mark Zuckerberg made his appearance on the stage which had two prominent Facebook logos beamed in large screen televisions.

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