Oxylabs Launches Pro Bono Program ‘4β’ to Support Researchers, Academia, NGOs and Public Initiatives
Oxylabs, a leading global provider of premium proxies and public web data scraping solutions, launched a global initiative, “Project 4β”, dedicated to solving critical research questions and missions. Through “4β”, Oxylabs will supply the know-how, infrastructure and resources pro bono to academic institutions, researchers, and organizations.
“Providing value to individuals and societies at large is at the core of Oxylabs’ business practices. Every day we witness how large-scale public web data gathering can help businesses get crucial insights. We know that our robust infrastructure and years of knowledge can also serve public initiatives to change the world for the better,” says Julius Černiauskas, CEO at Oxylabs.
What is “Project 4β”?
For Oxylabs, a company providing market-leading public web data gathering solutions, the β coefficient is the change in the outcome for every change in the predictor. The company cares that its β is the public good.
“We created ‘Project 4β’ to give no-fee access to global public web data for academic institutions, researchers, NGOs, NPOs and other organizations to help them maximize their research impact and enhance their understanding of the web scraping technology with regards to the ethical, legal, and technical aspects,” continues Mr. Černiauskas.
“4β” addresses the four effects the project will contribute its tech, resources, and know-how pro bono:
- β academic research:
Enabling researchers and academic departments with public web data gathering infrastructure, tech, and legal advisory globally through impactful partnerships.
- β data know-how:
Supporting lecturers and academic departments with free masterclasses and know-how about the legal, ethical, and technical aspects of public web data research.
- β social missions:
Helping NGOs, NPOs and other organizations address the most challenging social missions by providing public web data gathering infrastructure, tech, and legal advisory.
- β grants:
Funding and advising academic researchers aiming to tackle large-scale public web data and positive-change-driven projects. The grants are expected to launch later this year.
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Technology in action
Throughout the years, Oxylabs supported academics and institutions working towards the public good. The company partnered with the student-led project TrackCorona – a platform created by a team from the University of Stanford, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
Oxylabs also collaborated with professors from the University of Michigan and CODE – University of Applied Sciences to share expertise in the field of ethical web scraping and, according to the universities’ need, will continue the cooperation by holding workshops and sharing public web data gathering solutions for academic purposes.
“Data scientists often find themselves scraping data and are hopeful no one asks too many questions. The partnership with Oxylabs has allowed us to root the discussion of what actions are appropriate in the legal precedents formed over the last 20 years. Instead of avoiding the topic as taboo, we can address it head-on in the context of our curriculum,” shares Christopher Brooks, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.
Another example was a pro bono partnership with the Communications Regulatory Authority of Lithuania (RRT), born after winning the Govtech Lab Challenge. Oxylabs created a unique AI-powered tool to detect content revealing child abuse. During the first two months of its use, the tool scanned around 288 000+ Lithuanian websites, identified potentially harmful visual content units and directed them all for analysis to RRT specialists.
How to join “4β”
“More academia representatives are becoming aware of how web scraping technology can ease an expensive and complicated research process and how it can be harnessed to solve various social questions. We have witnessed a great number of inquiries regarding the use of our services and decided to take the front seat and bring further awareness by launching our dedicated pro bono ‘Project 4β,'” explains Julius Černiauskas.
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