Facebook launches $10 million community awards to reward leaders

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Facebook has launched a community leadership program that will award $10 million in total to more than 100 people who have successfully built groups on the social network as part of its push to create “meaningful” interactions, Facebook’s Head of Groups and Community Jennifer Dulski said on Feb. 9.

“We are looking for communities that provide meaning to the people that are in them, we are looking for initiatives that drive positive impact, and we are looking for communities that have both online and offline components,” she told Reuters during the Facebook Communities Summit in London that brought together more than 300 community leaders from European countries, including Turkey.

The initiative will give five people with a track record in creating groups up to $1 million to fund a project. Another 100 leaders will receive up to $50,000 each.

The winners will be chosen by a panel of independent experts and Facebook employees, Dulski said.

Foods, gifts, bicycles, wigs, travels, cats

Admins of Blind Veterans UK, an advocacy organization that provides practical and emotional support to blind veterans and their families; Donna Mamma, a support group for mothers in France to share advice and information; Girl Skate UK, which celebrates and brings together the female skateboarding community; High Society PL, a group of sneaker enthusiasts who bond over their shared passion; and Berlin Bruisers, Germany’s first gay and inclusive rugby club were among the community leaders who attended the summit.

Popular Facebook groups operating in the Turkish language involved in the program are “Mide Lobisi” (Tummy Lobby), a “food porn” and restaurant critics group with more than 20,000 members; “İhtiyaç Haritası” (Map of Needs), a Facebook community of the solidarity group founded by Turkish actor Mert Fırat; “Bisikletli Kadın İnisiyatifi” (Cycling Women Initiative), supporting female bicycle riders in urban life; “Araştıran Anneler” (Researching Moms), a group for mothers to share experiences and information; “Saçım Saçın Olsun” (My Hair is All Yours), a group dedicated to providing wigs to cancer patients; “Interrail Türkiye” (Interrail Turkey), a community created “to help travelers for their urgent needs during their journey and to prepare them for travelling”; and “Kalpler Erisin” (Let Hearts Melt), in which people share photos of their cute pets, especially cats.

Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said last June that the company’s new mission was “to bring the world closer together,” and he set up the goal of helping one billion people join “meaningful communities” built around hobbies, neighbors, churches, pets and the like.

The focus on groups came after the social network, which has 1.4 billion daily active users, was criticized for its role in the spread of “fake news.”

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