As Afghanistan faces a growing humanitarian crisis in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the nation, rescue and aid organizations are working to meet rising demand, and ensure that refugees are able to escape from the more restrictive militant regime.
Recognizing the need for assistance, Facebook has today pledged $3 million in funding for organizations working to assist Afghan citizens, in various ways.
As explained by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:
“According to the International Rescue Committee, over 18 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, and nearly half a million Afghans will flee the country by the end of the year. Protecting people in Afghanistan from harm is so important – and so challenging – during this crisis. I am awestruck by the resilience and courage of the Afghan women who protested in Kabul and Herat, demanding equal rights. At the same time, we hear heartbreaking stories about women and girls burning evidence of their careers and education. Journalists, activists, educators, and their families are now living in fear.”
Sandberg says that Facebook’s donation will contribute to supporting three critical areas:
- Refugee registration and resettlement
- Protection and evacuation of at-risk individuals
- Food, shelter, and health support.
It’s difficult to measure the full scope of the Afghan crisis, in the wake of the US Government’s decision to withdraw troops from the region. Over time, the impacts of the withdrawal process will take shape, but right now, as Sandberg notes, what is clear is that many Afghan people are now living in fear, with the rights that they had been granted under the previous regime now significantly reduced under the strict doctrine of the Taliban.
While ongoing evaluation of its broader societal impact remains a key, an important focus, it is also worth noting that Facebook has donated billions in collective funding to various global causes over the past decade, which has included assistance for people impacted by COVID-19, funding to help address racial inequality and various pledges to assist war-torn regions in their recovery efforts.
There’s much more to come in the evolving Afghan situation, but Facebook’s funding will provide a significant boost on various aid fronts
New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work
Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.
As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.
That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.
That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.
That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.
Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.
But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.
Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.
But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.
Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.
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