TIME Nepal

Six More Ways to Give to Nepal Earthquake Relief

Financial support is essential to support the rebuilding process

As international aid to support victims of the Nepal earthquake ramps up, individual financial support will also be essential as the landlocked nation’s grapples with the natural disaster that has claimed more than 4,400 lives and devastated infrastructure.

On top of the six charities TIME profiled Monday, dozens of relief agencies are supporting recovery efforts. Here are six more ways to support.

Facebook

The social media giant has set up a donation platform that enables users to donate to the International Medical Corps. 100% of the proceeds will help provide first-response care and hygiene kits to survivors. Facebook has also pledged $2 million to the organization’s relief efforts. Also, as Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform, it makes it easier to share your munificence and motivate friends to donate as well.

Lutheran World Relief

The U.N.-affiliated organization immediately shipped nearly 10,000 quilts and 100 personal water filtration mechanisms to Nepal. They are working in close coordination with a local disaster government agency called the Nepali District Disaster Relief Committee.

“This is still a scary situation,” said Narayan Gyawali, a local staff member currently in Nepal in a press release.

To donate to the Lutheran World Relief organization, click here. If you prefer to send physical checks, the Lutheran World Relief is especially well organized.

AmeriCares

AmeriCares has an emergency response office in Mumbai, India and have sent a team to the Nepal disaster zone. On its website, AmeriCares says, “for every $1 donated AmeriCares has provided $20 in aid.” They are also preparing medical supplies and will distribute tetanus and measles vaccinations because many residents are now living in close proximity with one another.

Click here to make a donation.

Islamic Relief USA

Based in Virginia and operating for nearly 25 years, Islamic Relief USA has a presence in more than 35 countries across the world. They are launching an appeal to raise $100,000 dollars for relief efforts in Nepal. “We are concerned about the victims of this tragedy and are sending our emergency response teams from different countries to respond,” said CEO Anwar Khan in a press release.

The agency also advocates for active participation in relief efforts, which they suggest can be done by organizing community fundraisers.

To help Islamic Relief USA reach its target goal, click here.

Doctors Without Borders

MSF is sent eight teams to Nepal to assist those in need, including a highly-skilled surgical team that will set up mobile clinics in the hopes of reaching people in remote areas. They are also contributing emergency medical supplies and a non-medical team in Kathmandu.

To donate click here.

Charity: Water

The people of Nepal will need significant help getting access to clean water as they recover from the earthquake. Charity: Water is in an excellent position to do just that. This smaller organization is networked into the country from previous clean water projects, and has begun a relief campaign in which 100% of proceeds go to Nepal’s earthquake disaster relief, with the immediate focus being to raise money for emergency supplies.

Click here to offer support.

TIME facebook

You Can Make Video Calls in Facebook’s Mobile App Now

Facebook Messenger is taking on FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangout

Facebook is adding video calling to its Messenger app starting Monday, allowing users to chat with their friends via a button in the app.

The feature, which already exists on desktop, allows video chats over both LTE and Wi-Fi and will compete with Google Hangouts, Microsoft’s Skype, and Apple’s FaceTime.

Messenger has more than 600 million monthly active users who are making 10% of all internet-based phone calls and video calling should help it build momentum.

According to Messenger’s head of product, Stan Chudnovsky, developers aimed to make video work well even on low-bandwidth cell networks.

TIME Social Media

How Facebook Is Helping Emergency Responders in Nepal

Facebook logo shown on an iPhone 5s.
Lukas Schulze—AP Facebook logo shown on an iPhone 5s.

The tragic earthquake shows how social media helps people connect after chaos

A massive earthquake struck Nepal, parts of India and Mount Everest over weekend, claiming at least 4,000 lives and injuring thousands more. As heartbreaking as the devastation is, it reminds us that social media has the potential to help in big ways.

On Saturday, Facebook activated a feature called Safety Check to help people track their friends and family in the region. The feature, which was announced last October, works like this: Based on the location of a Facebook user, it tags that user as being in the region affected by the earthquake and informs the user’s friends. When that user checks his Facebook, he can mark himself as ‘safe,’ which is also communicated to his friends. Google has a similar tool, too. Having lived in Kathmandu for a time, it was comforting for me to know which of my friends in the area were safe — more or less in real time.

Nepal’s recovery efforts have only begun. And while officials are struggling with numerous challenges, it’s worth noting that the simplicity of Facebook’s feature suggests a much wider arena of development for social media that can be valuable for both users and emergency responders.

Take the example of a fire in an apartment building. A local fire department could set up a special page that users can connect to. By comparing your home address on Facebook with a tip about a fire in its response area, the fire department could send you a personalized alert the moment someone calls 911 or a smoke detector goes off. If you happen to be in your apartment and are unaware of a fire in your building, a Facebook alert might well save your life. If you’re out, you could be warned to stay away. Modern buildings usually have a loud fire alarm to alert tenants, but a Facebook alert could still be a valuable backup if perhaps your kids are listening to music on their headphones and fails to hear the alarm.

What’s more, a feature like Safety Check has the potential to let the fire department know if you’re safe and whether there’s anyone still left in your apartment. That would enable firefighters to do potentially life-saving triage. When firefighters go into a burning building, their priority is to rescue people who may be trapped inside. If they know which apartments are empty (because the tenants checked in through Facebook and informed the fire department that they were out of harm’s way), they could focus their efforts on other parts of the building – which are more likely to contain people who are running out of time – first.

While currently people receive emergency alerts from government agencies during bad weather or a forest fire, for instance, these usually cover broad areas like a county or at most a city; and that’s the point. The value of such an application lies in the localization that social media can provide. Emergency response is enhanced tremendously by information, especially about people’s whereabouts, and social media is uniquely equipped to provide that to first responders.

It’s true that in order for such targeted features to work, users have to feel comfortable sharing personal information with Facebook, but the reality is they already do that. Users routinely share highly personal updates on social networking sites including their exact location at a particular point in time, and ultimately it would be their choice to participate or not. There are also potential security issues, such as the need for authorities to restrict information from being publicized during a terror attack or a hostage situation, or the desire of victims’ families for privacy, but these could be mitigated via technological safeguards or negotiations between Facebook and law enforcement in the best interests of the public.

Nevertheless, beyond logistical nuances, what the application of Facebook’s new feature during the Nepal earthquake indicates clearly is that social media can be used effectively to aid emergency management, whether it’s for users’ peace of mind or to enhance the ability of authorities to provide rescue and relief to victims of a disaster.

Even though the primary goal here should obviously be the good of society, the opening up of a new arena of growth is positive from a business perspective as well. Emergency management could give social media a raison d’etre and a compelling value proposition for the public beyond the more frivolous aspects of the medium (such as sharing information about the bagel you just ate or random inspirational quotes).

The power of Facebook for social good was illustrated during the Arab Spring (where it facilitated democratic protests), the earthquake in Haiti (where it facilitated fundraising for relief efforts), and in Amber Alerts for missing children, but active emergency management is yet another level that could turn Facebook from a ‘good to have’ tool to a ‘must have’ tool. In addition, if social media becomes a vehicle for personal safety, it would entice users to check their updates more frequently, which could help its business model.

Sanjay Sanghoee is a business commentator. He has worked at investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, as well as at hedge fund Ramius Capital. Sanjay does not own shares of Facebook.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

MONEY Workplace

Why It Pays to Make Your Boss Your BFF

Illustration by Mikey Burton

Get the person into the corner office in your corner, then watch your career take off.

Buddying up with the boss can pay off, literally. In a study of executives done at Georgetown University, nine in 10 acknowledged that favoritism occurs in larger organizations, and 23% of them said they had personally practiced favoritism in making promotion decisions. Read: Getting more familiar with the person who signs off on your raises can help you make sure they’re bigger. Follow these tips to cozy up without crossing the line.

Break the Ice

Start by trying to engage the boss in small talk when riding the elevator or meeting at the water cooler. And if you know he is going to happy hour, be there. “Take advantage of any opportunity to rub shoulders outside work,” says career consultant Donald Asher, author of Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t, and Why.

To find common ground, Asher suggests posing open-ended questions like “How about them Spurs?” Use the person’s response to gauge his level of interest. Does he talk at length about the season? Depending on your relative positions, you might ask the boss to lunch to discuss your ideas on a particular project—and who will make the playoffs.

Keep Up on Facebook

“Friending” the boss on Facebook can help you cement the relationship, says Nancy Rothbard, a Wharton School professor who studies social media in the workplace. But first make sure your boss is willing to connect with subordinates—you’re good if other direct reports are in her circle.

Once you’re in, occasionally “like” and comment on posts about shared interests. “It authentically reinforces your offline interactions,” Rothbard says. Just save communication for off-work hours so you don’t look as though you’re slacking off.

Leverage Your Friendship

When the relationship is established, your boss may be naturally more inclined to advance your causes. But be strategic in your asks. “You don’t want your boss to think you’re a user,” says Asher. Chatting about weekend plans? You might slip in a mention of your desire to attend a senior staff meeting. “If you have a good relationship, your boss will go out of his way to get you in,” says Richard Klimoski, a management and psych professor at George Mason University.

Don’t Let Your Nose Get Brown

Your peers may grow jealous of your rapport with the boss. Keep them on your good side by continuing to collaborate well and publicly praising peers for achievements, says Jennifer McClure, president of leadership strategy firm Unbridled Talent. “Befriend your boss,” she says, “but don’t put a target on your back.”

Read next: Why You Should Friend Your Boss on Facebook

TIME health

Sheryl Sandberg Explains Why Facebook Covers Egg-Freezing

The Davos World Economic Forum 2015
Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg/Getty Images Sheryl Sandberg, billionaire and chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a session on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

"I talked about it with our head of HR, and said, 'God we should cover this'"

A Facebook employee with cancer inspired COO Sheryl Sandberg to create the company’s controversial egg-freezing policy, Sandberg said in an interview released Friday.

In a Bloomberg Television interview with Emily Chang, Sandberg explained the genesis of the policy that gives employees money to get their eggs frozen in order to delay childbirth.

“There’s a young woman working at Facebook who had got cancer, and I knew her and she came to me and said, ‘I’m going to go through the treatment, and that means I won’t be able to have children unless I can freeze my eggs, and I can’t afford it, but our medical care doesn’t cover it,'” Sandberg explained. “I talked about it with our head of HR, and said, ‘God we should cover this.’ And then we looked at each other and said, ‘Why would we only cover this for women with cancer, why wouldn’t we cover this more broadly?'”

Egg-freezing has been widely used to help women with cancer preserve their fertility after chemotherapy, but it’s increasingly being used by women who want to delay motherhood for non-medical reasons, like if they haven’t found the right partner or they want to focus on work. When Facebook and Apple announced in November that they would cover elective egg-freezing for their employees, some critics attacked the policies, saying the companies were essentially encouraging women to delay motherhood until it’s convenient for the company.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson doesn’t agree. “We at Virgin want to steal the idea and offer it to our women,” he told Bloomberg in the same interview. “Somebody said to me they got criticism…and I said, ‘How can anybody criticize them for doing that? It’s women’s choice.”

He has a personal reason for supporting egg-freezing policies. “My daughter just had two wonderful twins from eggs, and they wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the eggs,” he said.

[h/t Bloomberg]

TIME Technology & Media

Why Facebook Isn’t Ready to Roll Out Video Ads — Yet

Facebook logo shown on an iPhone 5s.
Lukas Schulze—AP Facebook logo shown on an iPhone 5s.

Investors are hungry for more details, yet Facebook doesn’t seem to be in a rush to share

A year ago, Facebook was not a destination for video content. Now, the social media company sees four billion video streams each day, as it noted in its first quarter earnings call today. Almost overnight, Facebook became a video juggernaut. And three quarters of those views occur on mobile.

Video on Facebook has the company’s shareholders excited. The category is seen by many as the holy grail of online advertising. Sight, sound, and motion is a more compelling sales opportunity than a flat banner ad, and advertisers are willing to pay more for it. But Facebook has said little about its efforts to monetize video ads. Pitch decks have leaked. Speculation has abounded. Facebook even held a secret video sales event today, meant to capture advertiser budgets ahead of the “NewFronts,” the digital version of the broadcast industry’s programming “Upfronts.”

In the question-and-answer portion of Facebook’s earnings call, investors repeatedly asked about its plans to make money from video ads. Will Facebook attract big TV advertisers to its platform? How much money will Facebook invest in that platform? What’s the breakdown of video ads versus regular ads? How many of those four billion video views are ads? Will Facebook engage in long-form video? Will it compensate professional video creators?

But CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and CFO Dave Wehner dodged most of those questions. Listeners learned precious few details.

Sandberg tamped down expectations of video becoming a major source of new revenue. Video ads may not contribute much incremental growth, she noted, because they sometimes take the place of a regular Facebook ad. In other words, a brand a looking to buy video ads may simply purchase a sponsored video in place of purchasing a sponsored post. Both sponsored videos and sponsored posts appear in Facebook’s stream of content. These ads are purchased programmatically through an auction, so there is no price difference between a sponsored video post and a regular sponsored post.

Left to speculate, Josh Olson, a technology analyst with Edward Jones, said he estimates video ads will contribute 5% in incremental revenue in 2015. Facebook does not appear to be in a rush to monetize its explosive growth in video. “They’re taking their time getting there,” he says.

Update: This morning Facebook announced one new detail: Anthology, a program that pairs brands with media partners who will create video ad materials for them to promote on Facebook. Partners include Vice Media, Vox Media, Tastemade, Oh My Disney, The Onion, College Humor, and Funny or Die.

 

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Companies

Facebook Says Your News Feed Will Get Friendlier

The company announced key changes to what content it displays in your News Feed

Facebook said Tuesday it will increase the amount of content from close friends appearing in users’ News Feeds.

The social network announced three key changes to the content displayed in News Feeds, saying it was responding to feedback from users. “As more people and pages are sharing more content,” product manager Max Eulenstein and user experience researcher Lauren Scissors detailed in a statement, “we need to keep improving News Feed to get this balance right.”

For starters, people who don’t have much content to see will start seeing, well, more content. Facebook said it would lift restrictions on seeing multiple posts from the same source appearing in a row.

For users with more connections who find that they are missing important posts from friends—often in favor of media or corporate posts—Facebook said it would ensure that they would see more by showing those photos, status updates, links or videos higher in the News Feed, making them less likely to glance over it.

And in another change that is likely to draw support from users—and potentially dismay from advertisers—Facebook said it will pull back on the prevalence and prominence of posts about your friends liking or commenting on others’ posts. The stories will either appear lower in the News Feed or not at all.

Facebook warned that the changes may cut into traffic to some pages, saying the “impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”

TIME Social Media

This App Will Flag Your Offensive Tweets Before Your Future Employer Sees Them

Hey Clear Ethan Czahor Jeb Bush
Hey Clear

It was created by a man who lost his dream job with the Jeb Bush campaign.

Ethan Czahor’s dreams collapsed on the national stage earlier this year. The 31-year-old age digital whiz had spent years positioning himself to work in politics and earlier this year Jeb Bush’s campaign came calling, hiring Czahor as its chief technology officer.

He lasted 36 hours, done in by a history of offensive tweets and blog posts that was uncovered by reporters and opposition researchers after TIME broke the news of his hire.

Now, two months later, he is looking to make his comeback, turning lemons into lemonade with Clear, an app designed to keep what happened to him from happening to anyone else.

“Why wasn’t I smart enough to take care of this before it happens,” Czahor asked himself for weeks after the controversy, he told TIME. Now he’s set about making sure people can manage potentially damaging social media histories.

The app, releasing publicly Monday, scours a user’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram histories for potentially inflammatory or damaging posts, and makes their removal a breeze. It’s designed for the next generation in the workforce, who grew up sharing vast amounts of information online, some of which may become a liability in their future careers.

“This could happen to anyone in any field—it doesn’t have to be politics—every millennial is now entering the workforce, and maybe even a senior position, and everything that they’ve said online for the last 10 years is still there, and that’s a new thing for this generation,” Czahor said.

Already, there’s a long history of political aides being done in by their social media postings. Last month, GOP operative Liz Mair was forced to resign from a top digital post for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker after old tweets surfaced showing her criticizing the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Benjamin Cole, a senior aide to disgraced Rep. Aaron Schock was forced to resign after racist Facebook posts were dug up. In 2008, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was forced to apologize after a photo emerged of him groping a life-sized cut-out of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The app works by flagging postings that contain watchwords: the obvious four letter ones, as well as “gay,” “Americans” and “black.” Posts are also subjected to sentiment analysis, using IBM’s Watson supercomputer, to try to flag additional negative messages. The app’s algorithms are far from perfect, but it errs on the side of caution. The Clear analysis of this reporter’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts scored a -2,404—a record low in the private beta—from the app’s proprietary grading system which calculates the potential liability of a person’s social media history.

It will soon be converted to a traditional 0-100 scale, Czahor said, with higher scores meaning safer profiles. (One reason for this reporter’s low rating: quotes from presidential candidates frequently scored as negative, while words on the watch list triggered alerts.)

“The most challenging part of this is determining which tweets are actually offensive, and that’s something that will take a while to get really good at,” Czahor said.

Czahor, who moved to California after college to test his hand at improv comedy at The Groundlings while working at Internet start ups, maintained that the offending comments that cost him the Bush job were meant to be good-natured. “I was telling jokes with my friends and they were completely tongue-in-cheek and completely harmless,” he said. “But years later after I had forgotten about them, they’d been pulled out of context and it looked terrible.”

“Most people don’t know that halloween is German for ‘night that girls with low self-esteem dress like sluts,'” one, now-deleted tweet read. “When I burp in the gym I feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘sorry guys, but I’m not gay,'” said another.

Clear is purely a defensive weapon, and can’t be used the growing class of opposition researchers against whom Czahor is looking to protect. The app requires that users grant access to their social media accounts, meaning, that a third party can’t review a user’s history without their consent.

Czahor said he believes that racist and other offensive postings should be held to account, saying Clear was designed for the universe of embarrassing messages that can simply be taken out of context months or years later.

While some messages, if public, may be captured in public archives and thus out of the reach of the app’s delete feature, Czahor said he believes the awareness alone of what a person tweeted or posted years ago is a valuable resource. “When this was happening,” Czahor added, “there were all of these emails asking how I felt about this statement or that statement, and I remember thinking ‘did I even write this?’”

Czahor said the next step would be to expand the app’s reach to emails, personal blogs, and search results, pointing to the embarrassing leaks from last year’s Sony hack as another potential use-case.

“You as a person exist in a lot of places on the Internet, and I just feel that you have the right to at least know what’s out there, and to take care of it.”

TIME Internet

Mark Zuckerberg Defends His Latest Initiative

Critics say his Internet.org project violates net neutrality principles

Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to deliver free Internet to the world has come under fire.

The Facebook CEO wrote a post on Friday defending Internet.org, an ambitious plan to bring Internet access to under-connected parts of the world. Critics say the initiative unfairly disadvantages websites that are not part of Internet.org, which offers some content for free.

“To give more people access to the Internet, it is useful to offer some service for free,” Zuckerberg said. “If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all.”

In places like India, Facebook has partnered with mobile operators to offer access to certain websites, like news sites, job boards and Facebook itself, without the need for a data plan.

The Times of India, a large media group in the country, has withdrawn its job board and some other sites from Internet.org and is urging competitors like BBC to do the same.

 

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: April 16

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Go ahead and start a new career in your fifties. It’s easier than you think.

By Donna Rosato in Money

2. This is what sex-ed would look like if it took place entirely on social media.

By Kate Hakala in Mic

3. Here’s why the FDA doesn’t really know what’s in our food.

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young at the Center for Public Integrity

4. What critical resource helps the sharing economy make billions? People trusting people.

By the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor

5. Could a continent-wide CDC for Africa stop the next Ebola outbreak?

By Jim Burress at National Public Radio

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com