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A Better Internet for All

"So, what do you do at Google?"
Not too long ago, there was all this talk about digital immigrants vs digital natives. It was a classic age divide: everyone born before the internet became mainstream was an immigrant; everyone born after, a native. There were also slight discriminatory undertones: natives knew their way around while immigrants were the picture of the old grandmother trying to use a mobile phone for the first time.
But there's us. People who've been around before the internet, saw it blossom, took it in and nurtured it in our own way. We participated in forums and mailing lists, shaping HTML specifications; contributed to Blogger templates (when it was still Pyra); celebrated when the word "Blog" was seen on advertisements the very first time (if you must know, the first very public instance of "Blog" in Singapore advertising was on a huge Nokia billboard along the ECP); made the very best friends through IRC…the list goes on. The internet has been a major part of our lives, and we were there in its infancy.
As millions in Asia come on to the internet for the first time, they face a vastly different landscape from when I first began. Things are simpler to use, yet much more complex in nature. There are many ways to use this amazing medium for good, and there are also many ways to use it for evil.
I was interested in this role at Google because there is a need to help protect internet users from the relentless efforts of bad actors out there to deceive, cheat and scam others. My colleagues work on systems to <a href="http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/safebrowsing/?hl=en">warn people of unsafe sites</a> and <a href="http://adwords.blogspot.sg/2015/02/fighting-bad-advertising-practices-on.html">stop deceitful advertising on the web</a>.
Me? I'm here to help users become better at protecting themselves, and ensuring that their experience on the web is a positive one. It is both about knowledge (ensure that your connections are secure before conducting online transactions, for example) and about culture (how do we handle online discussions without descending to name-calling and bullying?).
The internet has played a huge part in my growing up. I have met many amazing people from whom I learned from and shared with a great number of things. It opened up the whole world to me as a young man back in the day, and I hope for it to remain a place that showcases the uplifting, enlightening and inspiring stories in our communities; where young people and newcomers are protected, not exploited; a medium that allows us to create and spread the good we want to leave behind for other digital citizens – immigrant or native.
This is what I do. This is the new chapter of my service.

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