Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) can certainly be known as a social network that has often advocated for social causes and social activism, and it has been a valuable tool in many of those areas, including calls for blood donation in the wake of natural disasters in other parts of the world and calls against censorship and for freedom of expression in repressive regimes. Much of the early days of the Arab Spring uprisings were captured by Facebook posts and Twitter feeds because of the massive amounts of media repression in those countries while the violence broke out.
So it would seem to be a matter of common sense that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and its advocacy on behalf of its one billion worldwide members, should be a member of a prominent Internet freedom group that promotes freedom of expression across the Internet while also advocating for individual privacy rights while online.
After serving a period as an “observer,” Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was this week granted full membership into the Global Network Initiative, an Internet-freedom and online-privacy-rights advocacy group that includes a couple of other tech heavyweights in is membership, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The announcement of membership was made by GNI and its executive director, Susan Morgan.
“We welcome Facebook as a full member of GNI and look forward to working more closely with them to advance the freedom of expression and privacy rights of Internet users worldwide,” Morgan said. “Adding the power of Facebook’s community of one billion global users puts GNI in an even better place to press governments to fulfill their obligations to protect rights online.”
“We’re pleased to join GNI and contribute to its efforts to shed a spotlight on government practices that threaten the economic, social and political benefits the Internet provides,” said Elliot Schrage, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) vice president. Human Rights Watch and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are among those non-profit advocacy groups that are members of the GNI, as well.
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