Facebook to Bring Internet to Refugees
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook has promised that the company will help to bring Internet access to refugee camps. Speaking at the United Nations Private Sector Forum, he stated that Facebook would work with intergovernmental institutions to make the Internet available to those who wouldn’t normally have access. He intimated that the Internet would enable human rights and help forge peace. Of course, having more people online would benefit Facebook itself. He stated that, “It’s not all altruism. We all benefit when we are more connected.”
There are no details of when or where Facebook will start to offer Internet to refugees, but the company’s internet.org initiative has been working on the problem for a while. The UN General Assembly building had recently displayed parts of Facebook’s Internet-enabling drone. The drone is the size of a passenger jet and will fly un-piloted around the world, beaming Wi-Fi down to areas without Internet. It sounds rather like some strange science fiction.
Zuckerberg has long pushed Internet access as an essential for the developing world, but detractors have accused it of going against net neutrality and of funneling users into very specific services and apps. Facebook then changed its approach allowing all companies into internet.org. Facebook rebranded its internet.org mobile site and app as “Free Basics”, suggesting that Facebook will be front and center for any initiative.