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Internet.org profile picture issue is engineer’s mistake: Facebook

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New Delhi: Social networking giant Facebook on Tuesday defended itself on the ‘Internet.org’ profile picture imbroglio and said that the issue on the site was a mistake by an engineer which had nothing to do with Internet.org’s publicity plans in the country.

“There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for ‘Digital India’ and Internet.org. An engineer by mistake used the words ‘Internet.org profile picture’ as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion,” he added.

It all started when Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg changed his profile picture with a tint of green, saffron and white for the Tricolour in a symbolic gesture to suggest he supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ campaign.

He asked others to follow suit.

Accordingly, a host of Facebook users also started doing the same. But it was soon noticed that if you changed your display, the code below had a small bit with the word ‘Internet.org’ — an initiative netizens have been opposing for allegedly being anti-net neutrality.

It thus sent out a feeling that support to ‘Digital India’ also meant support for Internet.org.

Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, Zuckerberg has said on September 27: “I changed my profile picture to support Digital India, the Indian government’s effort to connect rural communities to the Internet and give people access to more services online.”

He added: “Looking forward to discussing this with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Facebook today.” He also made a plea for people to show their support at fb.com/supportdigitalindia.

(IANS)

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Facebook Denies Reports About Marc Zuckerburg’s Indifference Towards Publishers

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in "Instant Articles".

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Facebook refutes report 'Zuckerberg doesn't care about publishers'. Pixabay

Facebook has denied a media report that cited one of its senior executives as saying that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about publishers.

The Australian on Monday reported that in a meeting with Australian media executives, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown said: “Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes”.

Brown reportedly said that publishers who choose not to work with Facebook will wind up in a dying business.

“Facebook said the remarks were inaccurate and taken out of context,” Fortune reported.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, May 23, 2018. VOA
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

The Australian claimed the story was based on information from five people present at the meeting with Brown who requested anonymity.

Earlier in August, Facebook announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the publishing industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help publishers with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Brown said in a blog post.

Facebook
Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe.(IANS)

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

Also Read: Slow Disclosure of Tesla Raising Governance, Social Media Concerns

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown. (IANS)