New Zuckerberg Initiative for Refugees Renews Debate Over Internet.org

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook will help the UN bring internet access to refugee camps.

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg changed his Facebook profile picture to a tricolour shade in support of the Modi-government’s Digital India initiative, the social network’s users in the country have been split down the middle on the issue, with many saying the gesture indirectly promotes Internet.org, which allegedly violates net neutrality. NEW YORK: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates have thrown their weight behind the goal of bringing Internet access to everyone in the world by 2020.Individuals who choose to share radical or xenophobic views on social media risk not only losing their jobs in Germany, but their children as well, local media reports.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the United Nations about the internet’s ability to raise people out of poverty, explaining that for every 10 people connected, one will be lifted.already have a hard life, but that’s made worse by the typical lack of internet access at refugee camps — unless you resettle, you may never get online. The Internet became commonplace in developed countries in the 1990s, but UN officials estimate that half the world does not have reliable access — especially women and girls, whose education is vital to development. “When people have access to the tools and knowledge of the Internet, they have access to opportunities that make life better for all of us,” said a declaration signed by Zuckerberg and Bill and Melinda Gates, who have devoted their wealth to philanthropy. This has restarted the debate on net neutrality an whether or not platforms such as Facebook’s internet.org should be allowed — an issue that the Modi-government appointed expert panel has also looked into. It should be accessible by everyone.” Other co-signatories included Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and U2 front man Bono because he has to muscle in on this sort of thing and probably thinks that every Somali villager is entitled to a free copy of his new album.

Company chief Mark Zuckerberg (who revealed the plans at a luncheon) didn’t explain how and where this would take place, but it won’t be shocking if Facebook relies on its upcoming internet drones to connect these sometimes remote places. But simply by expressing discontent with Syrian refugees living nearby or making threats toward asylum-seekers parents may accidentally push things too far, Die Welt reported, citing the Deutsche Anwaltauskunft information portal of the German Lawyers’ Association. In an unusual move for Zuck, he ditched his usual hoodie for a proper suit, attending a lunch do with guests including German chancellor Angela Merkel. “A ‘like’ or a post won’t stop a tank or a bullet, but when people are connected we have the chance to build a common global community with a shared understanding, and that’s a powerful force,” he said. Internet.org, recently rebranded as Free Basics by Facebook, aims to bring Internet services to areas that are still not connected in partnership with tech giants like Samsung and Qualcomm.

Controversial political or religious sentiments from a parent will have a direct impact on the rights of the child, if the child’s welfare is endangered thereby. The UN estimates that it will take between 3.5 and five trillion dollars a year to meet the global goals involved, while Jamie Drummond, executive director of One, the Bono-fronted charity, called on the countries of the world to come up with an “urgent plan” to get things moving. A number of initiatives are already in place as the big internet players continue to show their philanthropic commitment to having even more people to advertise to.

In India, which has the largest Facebook user base outside the U.S., Facebook partnered with Reliance Communications to provide free access to select websites. The campaigners did not announce funding on their own, but the UN has said that meeting the new global goals will cost between $3.5 and $5 trillion per year. Zuckerberg’s Internet.org has come under fire for its Free Basics service which offers access to free sites which Facebook deems relevant to the audience, but fails basic privacy tests.

In the wake of the controversy over the initiative, a lot of these websites such as Cleartrip, Times Group, Flipkart and Ndtv opted out of Internet.org to voice their support for net neutrality. Releasing the report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that more than $25 billion has been committed so far to meeting the goals, led by $3.3 billion from the United States and large pledges from Canada, Germany and Sweden. In another development, standing side-by-side with Zuckerberg, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a rock star appearance at Facebook, advocating for the political power of social media. Earlier this month the company announced its cooperation with German Internet watchdog, Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers, to keep close tabs on hate speech posts. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

Modi used the hour-long session to promote his Digital India drive and promote the country as a place worthy of tourists, investments, and entrepreneurs with visions of disruptive technology start-ups. Over 410,000 people have registered on the country’s initial registration system since January, and over 100,000 asylum seekers were accepted in August alone. But he also shared some candid moments with Zuckerberg, who told of finding inspiration to persevere with Facebook during a journey to India while Modi himself choked up while speaking of his mother.

The panel in its 111-page report opposed the platform stating, “content and application providers cannot be permitted to act as gatekeepers and use network operations to extract value, even if it is for an ostensible public purpose.” Facebook for its part said Internet.org acted as a “gateway, as opposed to gatekeeper, to Internet access by breaking down the cost, infrastructure and social barriers that exist today.” Points touched on by Modi during the exchange included the hope of connecting all of India’s villages to the Internet with fiber optic cable, and the mighty challenge of attaining equality for women in India. “If we want to achieve our economic goals, we cannot do that if we imprison 50 percent of our population inside their houses,” he said in answer to a question. Modi also visited Google’s main campus in nearby Mountain View, where he and Google announced a collaboration to provide wireless Internet at railway stations in India, with a goal of connecting 500 by the end of next year. “Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity,” Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

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