Modi: Face to face with Facebook’s Sandberg

New Delhi :  With the NDA government using social media as never before, courtesy a leader who believes that Facebook is a tool for governance, it was a meeting of minds when Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Incidentally, Sandberg is on her first visit to India after becoming COO of the world’s most popular social networking site. When she called on Modi, she was not just calling on any Indian leader but one who is the second most popular politician on Facebook with over 18 million friends.

The meeting of minds was obvious: almost at the same time on Thursday afternoon, Modi and Sandberg posted pictures of their meeting on their respective timelines on Facebook. Modi said he spoke to Sandberg about how the social networking giant she heads can assist his government in commemorating the year of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary with a special focus on cleanliness.

Sandberg, in turn, wrote, “He told us how he believes that direct communication with people all over the world is critical to effective governance and he plans to continue using Facebook and other social media to communicate with the people of India and the world.”       Digital diplomacy can change national and international dialogues and that is why Modi “plans to champion the free and open Internet on the world stage,” she wrote in her post.

“The (Facebook) post with the picture of Prime Minister Modi seeking his mother’s blessings is incredible and my personal favourite,” she added.

“India is important to the global economy, as well as to Facebook, and we look forward to working together on internet.org to bring the next billion people online,” she said. Sandberg added that access to the Internet would create more economic, social and political opportunities for the people of India.

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