World’s top social media site (by a landslide), Facebook, is looking forward to intensifying its reach in the East Africa region. The platform, which has monthly active users in the excess of 2.2 billion as of 2017’s fourth quarter, plans to hire a Public Policy Head for the said region. The search is looking for a person ‘who can combine a passion for technology’s potential to create opportunity and to make Africa more open and connected, with deep knowledge of the political and regulatory dynamics across East Africa.’
Part of the Public Policy Head’s role will encompass dealing with the platform’s most challenging issues such as privacy concerns, internet shutdowns like the one that affected social media sites during Uganda’s general elections, safety and security, freedom of expression, democratic engagements and so forth.
The post covers several key responsibilities that will have a direct or indirect impact on how people use the platform and its associated apps and services such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Internet.org. For instance, he or she will represent the corporation in meetings with politicians and policymakers, in addition to collaborating with Facebook’s Politics and Government team to heighten Facebook’s offerings for citizen and voter engagement to policymakers, NGOs, and other influencers.
It should be noted that Facebook is still under scrutiny after its role in the wrongful use of about 50 million user data by British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica (CA), was revealed. While the corporation has since terminated its ties with CA, Facebook continues to receive backlash from media across the globe. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, insists on the platform’s strict adherence to protecting user data.
Locally, Kenyans expressed their concerns about the role of CA in Kenya’s past two general elections. The data-crunching firm had a role in Nigeria’s elections too. This is why officials from the two countries have sought to take the firm to court should evidence of election interference ever show up.