'Facebook Is a Transparent Medium for Politicians to Connect'
NEW DELHI: The Internet can be a potent medium for politicians to not just communicate with the public at large, but also bring in transparency in operations, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said.
An increasing number of politicians globally, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with the masses.
"Internet brings in transparency. Politicians should use Facebook and share what they are doing (with the public). A perfect example is Narendra Modi, who has extensively used Facebook in his electoral campaign. His following on Facebook with over 18 million followers is only next to Obama. This is an important medium," Sandberg told reporters.
On Twitter, Modi is the fourth most "followed" world leader, ahead of the White House in terms of number of followers on the microblogging site. Sandberg, who is in India on a five-day trip, also emphasised the importance of laws supporting free speech. "We are all for free expression. Laws supporting that are also important," she said.
On privacy, Sandberg said there are concerns with every new technology and Facebook is committed to ensure that user data is not compromised. "It is up to us to ensure that people understand it's their data. People see ads but advertisers do not get user data. What they get is stats. It's up to the user to decide who they want to share their information with," she said.
Globally, tech companies including Google, Yahoo! and Facebook have raised concerns about privacy of user data, especially in the light of surveillance by the U.S. government. These companies have strongly denied giving any access except under a legal requirement and have beefed up security to reassure their customers.
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