Access Facebook Award: Entries Due Aug. 15, Winner To Be Revealed In October

By David Cohen 

An award named after Facebook? Digital-freedom advocates Access announced that one of the five awards it will present as part of Access Innovation Prize 2012 will be the Access Facebook Award, in partnership with the social network.

Access Innovation Prize 2012 will award a total of $100,000 in five categories to individuals, organizations, or networks with the best actionable ideas on how to use information technology to promote and enable human rights.

The winner of the Access Facebook Award will receive the following:

$20,000 will go to the best actionable idea of how to use the Facebook platform to deliver a human rights, human development, or social good outcome. We’re looking for initiatives across the spectrum — from enhancing freedom of speech and expression to improving the economic well-being of a disadvantaged group.

Examples offered by Access were:

  • Building a Facebook app that allows for the collection and publication of data to expose election fraud.
  • Using the Facebook platform to develop a mobile tool that will enable local communities to locate sources of drinkable water.
  • Building an online tool that can be used on Facebook to protect areas of sensitive human habitat.
  • Developing a Facebook page integration that enables people to work collaboratively on political issues of shared concern, such as crowd-sourcing amendments to legislation, or fostering online and offline communities to engage on a topic.

The other four categories are:

  • Blackout Resilience: $20,000 for the best actionable idea to help build an open-sourced, blackout-resilient technology for use by activists and human rights workers in areas where alternate communications infrastructure is necessary.
  • Making Crypto Easy: $20,000 for the best actionable idea to properly integrate encryption into an existing product or system, to educate users as to how to use encryption, and/or to build a community that uses encryption by default.
  • The Bounty: $20,000 for the best patch for a disclosed or as-yet-undisclosed vulnerability in a program/platform or software used by human rights defenders and activists.
  • Golden Jellybean: $20,000 for the best actionable idea of how communication technologies can be used to promote and enable human rights (uncategorized).

Applications are due Aug. 15. Finalists will be announced Sept. 15, with winners to be revealed in October.

Facebook Vice President of Global Public Policy Marne Levine said:

The social Web is a powerful tool for helping to promote human development around the world. The Access Facebook Award will help to spur new ideas for leveraging Facebook to improve the world we live in, from creating tools that enhance the free flow of information, to developing applications that expand educational access in rural areas, and we look forward to seeing the creative ideas that are submitted.