Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, recently told the Mobile World Congress Conference that he wants to give five billion more people around the world access to the Internet.
In the beginning, his plan would offer basic services like weather reports and health information. It would also offer Facebook.
Right now only a third of people in the world have Internet access. One reason, Zuckerberg said, is that so many people don’t know how useful the Internet is. So part of his plan would be to educate the people about how important the Internet could be to their lives.
Zuckerberg calls the project Internet.org. His partners include big technology companies like Nokia, Samsung, and Ericsson.
Last year, Zuckerberg talked about Internet.org on Facebook. He said he and his partners want to solve the problems that make the Internet unavailable for people who can’t afford it. He also said that he and his partners don’t expect to make any money on this project for a long time.
Critics of Zuckerberg accuse him of serving his own interests. They say that Zuckerberg and his partners are only doing this so they will be first people to get to the world’s poor people and then he and his partners can sell mobile phones and other services to them.
Zuckerberg doesn’t deny that he wants to make money in the long run. But, he says, he also wants more people to be able to have access to the Internet.
By Jonathan Tilly
Do you think Mark Zuckerberg is right, that the world would be a better place if more people had access to the internet? Brainstorm and compare answers that support and refute this belief. Discuss your opinion with a classmate and have a discussion about the value of world-wide internet access.
Reading Prompt: Responding and Evaluating Texts
Today’s article explores the importance of intention. Do you think Mark Zuckerberg’s hope to make money diminishes the charitable aspect of this project? Is intention an important part of doing a good deed?
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Grammar Feature: Internet vs. internet
The word “Internet” is one that is commonly used by many people in their daily lives; however, “Internet” is a tricky word to write. That’s because there is on-going debate as to whether or not the first letter, “i” should be written as a capital.
When the Internet was created, just over forty years ago, it was considered a proper noun (the specific name of a person, place, or thing). But today, because the Internet is considered a common and widespread form of communication, others argue that the Internet is more accurately labelled as a common noun, and should be written as “internet.”
What do you think and why do you think so?