Digital justice in Detroit; new Facebook company team taps into social causes; and more.
The news from Facebookistan: Facebook now has a social good team, led by longtime manager Naomi Gleit, reports Seth Figerman for Mashable. He writes, “Facebook’s social good team, which numbers in the dozens, is less focused on activism and on-the-ground work than building a new suite of products that tap into the social causes and personal needs of its community.” Gleit told him, “It really is bottom up. We don’t want to do whatever Mark thinks is most important or whatever I think is most important. That’s not the position we want to be in.”
Perhaps this is unfair, but can we please not use “social good” and “products that tap into” in the same sentence? At least put those phrases in separate sentences?
Related? Facebook is partnering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to bring internet access to refugee camps, Somini Sengupta reports for the New York Times. “It’s not all altruism,” Zuckerberg admitted. “We all benefit when we are more connected.”
Connected: U2’s Bono and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praise the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development goals, in particular the promise to provide Internet connectivity for all by 2020.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Facebook HQ and, not surprisingly, sang the praises of social media while he was there, the BBC reports. “The strength of social media today is that it can tell governments where they are wrong and can stop them from moving in the wrong direction,” he said in Hindi. “We used to have elections every five years and now we can have them every five minutes,” he added. But do they?
Food for thought: Don’t miss Sherry Turkle’s provocative piece in yesterday’s New York Times about how the “always on” generation is losing the ability to have a human conversation.
This is civic tech: Melissa Jun Rowley of Humanise reports on Detroit’s Digital Justice Coalition, which is working to build a wireless mesh network to distribute internet access to the entire Morningside neighborhood, and Data Driven Detroit, which provides data analysis to strengthen communities.