Home / Business/ Facebook focuses on digital literacy as part of commitment to improve online safety in Sri Lanka

Facebook focuses on digital literacy as part of commitment to improve online safety in Sri Lanka

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 26 January 2019 00:10


Facebook’s efforts to tackle misinformation, promote online safety in Sri Lanka and boost digital literacy skills were among several topics debated at a fireside chat on Saturday, held as a part of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2019.

Speaking to an audience of authors, professionals, academics and journalists, Facebook’s Head of Policy Programs for India, South Asia and Central Asia Shelley Thakral, took the opportunity to outline the steps Facebook has taken to tackle misinformation, as well as reiterating its commitment to continued progress.

“We take misuse of our platform incredibly seriously and are committed to fighting misinformation and hate speech on the platform in Sri Lanka with the same energy and effort that we are demonstrating globally,” said Thakral.

Facebook is a very popular social platform in the country with over 6.2 million people using it every month. Some of the programs that Facebook is scaling up in Sri Lanka are those aimed at promoting digital literacy and economic development in partnership with civil society organisations and local community groups. 

These initiatives include a digital literacy program run in conjunction with Sarvodaya, one of the oldest civil society organisations in Sri Lanka, to train up to 20,000 school children by the end of 2019 on how to engage on social media safely. Facebook has already trained more than 11,000 people, reaching more than 1200 villages across Sri Lanka.

Sarvodaya Executive Director Chamindha Rajakaruna, who works closely with Facebook on this initiative said, “We are committed to empowering the next generation of digital users with the right tools and resources to have a safer online experience. Our partnership with Facebook enables us to reach thousands of young Sri Lankan women and men, helping them navigate this digital divide.”

A similar program called Smart Social Circles is operating in collaboration with the country’s Information Communication Technology Agency to enhance connectivity within a Grama Niladhari Division and empower citizens through the effective use of digital technologies and ethical use of social media.

At the same time, Facebook has supported Boost Your Business programs in Colombo to support local economic development, with more to follow in Kandy and Galle later this year. Its #SheMeansBusiness program was launched in Jaffna in 2018 encouraging aspiring women entrepreneurs to take their businesses online. This year, Facebook is planning to take the program to Kandy, Galle, Polonnaruwa and Kalutara.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Privacy in a time of terror

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Trade-offs that are central to public policy are best understood with specific examples, ideally real-world cases rather than made-up ones. The recent request by the Police that those leaving unattended vehicles on the road display their names and co

The worst time in this global war: healing in failure and brokenness?

Thursday, 25 April 2019

These are the worst of times for us all in our belovéd blesséd battered bruised broken bleeding isle. And I’m thinking dark thoughts that the twitterati and other tender-minded philosophers would deem unprintable. But will be publish and be damne

Easter mayhem and grand failure of leadership

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Never in the history of Sri Lanka has there been such a masterly engineered and flawlessly executed terror attack on soft targets to bring down a calamity of incalculable magnitude. These heartless and mentally deranged criminals who masterminded thi

Countries can recover post-disaster; strong policymakers a must

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Sri Lanka was devastated on Sunday when suicide bombers went on rampage. Whilst the actual impact will be seen in the near future, what is sad for Sri Lanka is that the policymakers are at sea despite all the experience we had in dealing with the LTT

Columnists More