Diplomatic Zuckerberg speaks about expanding Internet access

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is leading a tech alliance that is going to try to expand mobile Internet access worldwide. As the Merc’s Brandon Bailey wrote Tuesday, it’s just the latest effort by Zuckerberg to broaden his influence beyond Silicon Valley.

CNN “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo essentially asked Zuckerberg, in an interview that aired this morning, whether the initiative dubbed Internet.org was motivated by Facebook’s push into mobile.

“If we were just focused on making money, the first billion people that we’ve connected have way more money than the rest of the next 6 billion combined. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. We just believe that everyone deserves to be connected and on the Internet,” said the budding diplomat who has had to answer his share of whys lately.

For example, Zuckerberg recently launched FWD.us, a group advocating for immigration reform. It’s a popular cause among tech companies that say U.S. policies limit the pool of immigrants they can hire. But the Facebook CEO has said his interest in the cause stems partly from his encounters with immigrant students he tutored in Silicon Valley. One student told him he was worried he wouldn’t be able to go to college because he was undocumented, and Zuckerberg reportedly said, “This really touched me, and I hadn’t made the connection.”

 

Photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from Palo Alto Daily News archives

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (3979 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).