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Facebook to host Europe's first gay hackathon

New apps to simplify hate crime reporting and coming out support guides on the way...


Facebook's London office will tonight to host the first hackathon targeted at the LGBT community with an aim to create apps and web products that could enhance the lives of gay people across the world.

The event is organised by InterTech, the cross industry LGBT network backed by tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dell and Nokia, and will bring together 50 developers from across the UK who will work together non-stop over the next 24 hours. Hammocks are provided in case the excitement of the coding gets too much.

They're hoping that projects will include apps to simplify hate crime reporting, coming out support guides, LGBT events trackers and a web tool for the use of LGBT students.

Welcoming the event, Helen Grant, the Minister for Equalities said: “The Internet has revolutionised the way that people get information and connect with others. I congratulate InterTech and Facebook on organising this event. It is fantastic to see large companies are coming together to design devices and services that that could enhance the lives of LGBT people across the world.”

InterTech was launched just a few months ago and last month was presented with the PinkNews Business Network of the Year Award by the Minister for Equalities.

Its chair, Asher Ismail said: "It is widely acknowledged that the internet has been a driving force in the growing acceptance of LGBT people within Western societies. It has broken down barriers and services such as Facebook have enabled people to see that same-sex relationships are nothing other than ordinary.

"It is for these reasons that we are so pleased to be hosting our first practical event, a hackathon at Facebook's London headquarters. We hope that the products our competing teams of developers will work on could really change the lives of LGBT people across the world."

The event will be led by Facebook engineer Jackson Gabbard, Facebook who added: "One of Facebook's company goals is to make the world more open and connected. I’m really excited to facilitate and participate in an event where we can focus on trying to solve problems that prevent people from being who they are.

"InterTech has done an amazing job of pulling together a group of talented people under the banner of improving the world for LGBT people. Facebook has always been a strong supporter of LGBT causes and it makes me really proud we’re continuing this in from our London office."

We can't wait to play with the new apps and websites that the teams come up with this weekend!

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