A couple of major platforms like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, have become in many places around the world a de facto public sphere. Especially in countries that have less than free Internet, less than free mass media. And these countries have transitioned from a very controlled public sphere to a commercially-run one like Facebook.
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I became tired of knocking on the same doors and either seeing the same people or different people. But I really just felt like I was in this cycle of faux liberation, where I would feel a victory, and the victory was probably formed around the RFP for the grant that we needed to get in order to do our work.
What does it mean for human rights protection that we have large corporate interests—the Googles, the Facebooks of our time—that control and govern a large part of the online infrastructure?
You might have heard that this week Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced that they’re going to give away 99% of their Facebook stock in hopes of making the world a much better place for their newborn daughter and her generation. Now, I just want to be right up front with you. I have no inside information about this fascinating development. But what I do have is inside information, the inside story, on a gift that this couple made five years ago in their first act as philanthropists.