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Facebook Introduces an Online Education Portal in Asia Pacific

The programme has been launched in Singapore first. "We also plan to bring this programme beyond Asia Pacific to Argentina and Mexico," said Facebook

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

In a bid to train one million people across eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, Facebook has introduced an online education portal called “We Think Digital”.

The portal with interactive tutorials is aimed at helping people think critically and share thoughtfully online. The initiative would cover topics like privacy, safety, security, digital discourse and knowing digital footprint.

“We designed the programme in partnership with experts from across Asia Pacific,” Clair Deevy, Director of Community Affairs, Asia Pacific, said in a blog post late Monday.

Asia Pacific has a fast-growing Internet population, with more than 2.21 billion people now online and 203 million new people joining in the past year.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We Think Digital has been designed for new and existing internet users of all ages to develop the skills they need to safely enjoy digital technology, including critical thinking and empathy,” Deevy added.

The series of online tutorials has been developed in collaboration with journalists, academics and representatives from NGOs and civil society organisations across.

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The programme has been launched in Singapore first. “We also plan to bring this programme beyond Asia Pacific to Argentina and Mexico,” said Facebook. (IANS)

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Local News Dry up for Facebook Media Project in US

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook is having trouble finding enough local news to feed its new journalism initiative, because hundreds of newspapers have shut down in the US.

“About one in three users in the US live in places where we cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch ‘Today In’,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Monday.

In those “news deserts” – communities with little or no local reporting – Facebook hasn’t been able to find “five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns” for its news feature “Today In” that was launched in November last year.

“In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day where we’ve been able to find five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns.

“This does not vary much by region: 35 per cent of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26 per cent in the West a” live in places where we can’t find much local newson Facebook,” said the social networking company.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Today In” has been rolled out to over 400 cities in the US.

“We’re also announcing a new pilot programme, the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, to support projects aimed at building community through local news,” said Facebook.

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According to Engadget, nearly 1,800 papers have shut down in the US since around the time Facebook came online 15 years ago.

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms. (IANS)