Facebook wants to bring free web access to 100 countries by end of year

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BARCELONA — Facebook told a few members of the press this week that its Internet.org initiative, which aims get more of the world's population online, is on track for an aggressive expansion.

Chris Evans, VP of Internet.org at Facebook, said the company plans to expand into 100 countries by the end of the year. The program is currently set up in six countries — Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia and India — and has helped more than 7 million people access health, employment and local information services without data charges.

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Chris Hadfield’s ‘Guide to Optimism’ for the New Year

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Chris Hadfield wants to hear your New Year's resolutions.

In a video called "Guide to Optimism", the retired Canadian astronaut shared his optimistic take on the state of the world today, citing a continuing rise in global literacy, a decrease in infant morality rates and the eradication of deadly diseases, such as smallpox in 1980 and rinderpest in 2011

"We live the way we do because people chose to tackle their problems head-on," Hadfield says, before encouraging people to actively take up causes they're passionate about in the New Year.

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10 Things We Learned About Social Media Users’ Charitable Habits

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As the #IceBucketChallenge campaign showed us, social media can be a powerful medium for charitable organizations.

However, the precise nature of the relationship between social good and platforms like Facebook and Twitter can often be unclear. Do social media users really absorb the message? Do people use activism on a social platform instead of actually donating money to a charitable cause?

To further understand the relationship between social media and charitable causes, we gathered data through a SurveyMonkey Audience survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, age 18 or older, who identify themselves as regular social media users. Read more...

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