When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

SPOTLIGHT: FACEBOOK, POWER + HEAT

By virtually any measure, Facebook appears to be an unstoppable force of both business and culture dominance. Not only has quarterly income nearly tripled to $1.5 billion, but Mark Zuckerberg's company can now boast that its record 1.65 billion users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the network. Meanwhile Facebook Live promises to take over video streaming, as the FB-owned WhatsApp and Instagram networks continue to explode.


But with power comes responsibility. This past week has seen an outcry over reports that Facebook workers were routinely asked to filter out conservative-leaning news from users' feeds. If the company that so dominates our attention is imposing its slant on what we see (and not left, as we've been told, to the neutral whims of an algorithm), fundamental issues concerning democracy and the concentration of power are at stake. As the Internet changes the way information is produced and delivered, The Atlantic notes, Facebook now effectively serves the functions of both media and public utility. Zuckerberg (and friends) continue to preach their social gospel of radical sharing and global connections — and, by now, it's hard to see how the force of this particular network effect might ever slow down. But there was another story told this week that might offer a possible answer. Rahul Bhatia looked back at what The Guardian calls "Facebook's biggest setback," the attempt by Zuckerberg's company to bring what it hailed as "free Internet" to millions of people who could not afford it in India. But the "Free Basics" program, which included only a FB-dominated portion of the Internet, ultimately ran into perhaps the one force that stands in the way of the social network: state power. It's worth a read — and sharing with your friends.

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ