When Cameron met Zuckerburg: Govt. asks Facebook users for spending cut advice

12/07/2010

Downing Street and Facebook have launched a landmark initiative aimed at making public spending more effective.‘The Spending Challenge’ initiative marks the largest public engagement project ever launched by the British Government, and saw Prime Minister David Cameron meet Mark Zuckerberg via webconference to discuss its implementation.

The initiative marks the first step in the government’s commitment to creating an open and honest dialogue with the 26 million British citizens who actively use Facebook by calling on them to submit their feedback on the policies that will directly affect them in this year’s public spending budget. The Spending Challenge will initially launch on the Democracy UK Facebook Page by linking Facebook users to microsites specially tailored to focus on key issues open for discussion and debate among the voting public.

12/07/2010

'We are really excited about having Facebook involved in The Spending Challenge.” said the Prime Minister David Cameron. “There's enormous civic spirit in this country where people want to take control and do things in a different way. We are giving people an opportunity with Facebook and I am sure that they will take it'.

Speaking about the initiative, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's Founder and CEO, added: “We’re really delighted to be in partnership with the British government, in order to harness the energy and ideas that Facebook users have to help the UK public save money.

“The governments' willingness to reach out and engage with Facebook users is going to go a long way because I’m sure that all the people using Facebook in the UK have a lot of great ideas on how they could do this. It’s really innovative to open up policy making and engage the public in this way to try and create more social change,” Zuckerberg added.

From the Democracy UK Page, people can also navigate to a Government website, where they’ll find information which will help people to contribute informed opinions and actionable ideas.

The Democracy UK Page was Facebook’s home for discussion during the 2010 General Election campaign, with more than a million people participating in election day polls.
Joanna Shields, VP for Facebook EMEA said: "We’re delighted that the British Government is using Facebook to engage with the 26 million users in the UK in order to harness the energy and ideas of the public to save money. Facebook is one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to bring ideas to life and deliver messages straight to your audience.

“This is relevant for anyone who wants to engage with the Facebook audience from government and public figures right through to global brands and local businesses."

Democracy UK Facebook Page

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