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Zuckerberg in favour of 100 percent net neutrality

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New Delhi: Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday reiterated the need of an open internet platform like its proprietary initiative Internet.org in India while reminding that Facebook always supported net neutrality.

“We have always adhered to net neutrality regulations but there are several countries who still do not have norms in place,” Zuckerberg said at the Facebook India townhall meeting at IIT Delhi.

“We will adapt to them as soon as they are in place as we are in the favour of being 100 percent net neutral,” Zuckerberg said.

The townhall at IIT Delhi follows the Menlo Park chapter at Facebook headquarters which was held during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second US visit.

“Free basics programme under the Internet.org initiative aims to connect the next billion people and we cannot miss India in that vision as it is one of the largest democracies in the world,” the chief executive told a gathering of 1,100 people expressing his discontent in some way over the ongoing debate about net neutrality.

Further explaining his stand, he said “Free basics does not intend to harm anyone — neither the consumers nor the operators. Any developer who can stream low-data consuming content can be a part of the platform.”

“Internet.org is currently live in 24 countries and has 50 million subscribers. India itself has nearly over one million people subscribed to the platform,” Zuckerberg said reiterating his favourite example of quoting a research that claims that every 10 people connected to the internet lifts one life out of poverty.

He also said that over half of the nine million users of Internet.org service signed up for a paid-for data package of some kind within the first month.

It has directly led phone owners to adopt new services 50 percent faster than they otherwise would.

Currently, India has no regulations on net neutrality. Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a reply to the Lok Sabha said “the committee of the department of telecommunications on net neutrality has submitted its report. However, it is not the final report nor the government has taken any final view.”

“Based on the report, comments and suggestions received and recommendations of TRAI, the government will take a considered decision on various aspects of net neutrality, in the best interest of the country,” Prasad said.

(IANS)

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Needs More Time to Fix Issue of Fake News

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching

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Zuckerberg seeks more time to fix Facebook. Pixabay

As countries over the world including India face elections amid the spread of fake news and political interference on social media platforms, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked for some more time to fix his network that has over two billion users.

In a post on Friday, Zuckerberg said that Facebook started on the platform sanitising project in 2017 and “even this work will extend through 2019, I do expect us to end this year on a significantly better trajectory than when we entered it”.

“My personal challenge for 2018 has been to fix the most important issues facing Facebook — whether that’s defending against election interference by nation states, protecting our community from abuse and harm, or making sure people have control of their information,” the Facebook founder wrote.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

After his grilling in the US Congress in April over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, COO Sheryl Sandberg again testified at the US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on election security on September 5.

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Along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, she faced the committee which is probing the Russian interference from an angle to publicly hold Facebook and Twitter accountable for allowing Russian operatives on their platforms.

“I’m spending a lot of time on these issues, and as the year winds down I’m going to write a series of notes outlining how I’m thinking about them and the steps we’re taking to address them,” said Zuckerberg.

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

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching.

“I’ll write about privacy, encryption and business models, and then about content governance and enforcement as well in the coming months,” he added. (IANS)

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