Under pressure from lawmakers, Facebook has joined the Global Network Initiative (GNI) as an observer. The GNI is a mixed consortium of public, private, educational, and religious institutions that monitor Internet firms on free speech- and human rights-related issues. Facebook is the first organization to join under a special "observer" status that does not require them to submit to auditing. Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft, the three largest firms to participate in the GNI, all open their inner doings and records for examination. Facebook is believed to have joined in preparation for its upcoming IPO.
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