Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has an ambitious plan: connect every single person in the world to the internet.
Zuckerberg announced on Saturday while speaking at a United Nations forum that his company would be part of a new campaign that aims to make the internet available to everyone.
U2 frontman Bono, actress Charlize Theron, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson are also signatories of the campaign, which is called the Connectivity Declaration, the BBC notes.
The initiative is part of a larger goal to help those in need and cut down on global poverty. Bono and Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that explains why they think connecting everyone to the internet could better the world.
Here’s a snippet of what they wrote:
In this century, global development and global connectivity are closely linked. If you want to help people feed, heal, educate and employ themselves around the world, we need to connect the world as well. The Internet should not belong to only three billion people, as it does today. It should be seen as a necessity for development, and a tool that makes larger things possible.
Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook would be working with the United Nations to bring internet connectivity to refugee camps in order to help those in need access aid and maintain ties with their families.
Making the internet accessible to everyone has been a big priority for Zuckerberg. Earlier this year, Facebook launched a program called Internet.org, which enables those in emerging markets to access certain websites for free. Although the initiative has been criticised due to concerns around net neutrality, Zuckerberg says the point is to give everyone an opportunity to access crucial information online.
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