Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the UN twice over the weekend urging for global internet connectivity and labelling it an “enabler of human rights”.
He also emphasised Facebook’s focus on bringing the internet to refugee camps around the world, as the New York Times reports.
“Connecting the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation,” Zuckerberg told the UN.
“More than four billion people don’t have a voice online.
“The internet is critical to fighting injustice, sharing new ideas and helping entrepreneurs create jobs.”
As part of the Global Connectivity Declaration, the UN aims for everyone in the world to have internet access by 2020, which Facebook wants to play a big role in.
Zuckerberg launched a petition with none other than U2 frontman Bono, and also penned an op-ed for the NY Times on the topic, which included a call to action for fellow entrepreneurs and startups.
“More technology companies and entrepreneurs must take more responsibility,” the piece says.
“Silicon Valley should look beyond itself and act more on issues like education, health care and the refugee crisis.
“We challenge the tech industry to do far more for those most marginalised, those trapped in poverty, and those beyond or on the edge of the network.”
It’s obviously not entirely charitable though, with Facebook clearly benefitting from having more people online, something that Zuckerberg readily admits.
“Today over half the people on this planet don’t have access,” the op-ed reads. “That is not good for anyone – not for the disempowered and disconnected, and not for the other half, whose commerce and security depend on having stable societies.
“It’s not all altruism. We all benefit when we are more connected.”
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