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Sorry Mark Zuckerberg, We Cannot Allow You To Control Internet. 5 Reasons He Is Completely Wrong

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Mark Zuck Letter

Mark Zuckerberg has written a letter, meant for all activists of Net Neutrality in India. In his letter, he says, “The Internet is one of the most powerful tools for economic and social progress” and argues that “this is why we created Internet.org, our effort to connect the whole world”.

He informs us that “already more than 600 million people in eight countries can now access free basic services through Internet.org” & highlighting his achievements in India, he shares, “we’ve already rolled out free basic services on the Reliance network to millions of people in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Telangana”

According to him, via Internet.org, he has turned into a messiah of progress and development as, “Internet.org lowers the cost of accessing the Internet and raises the awareness of the Internet’s value”. He makes us believe that Facebook is trying to empower the underprivileged, women and the poor via his scheme of free Internet.

But what he does fails to write is that, by providing only a ‘set’ of free Internet services, he has turned into a ‘capitalistic racist’, who wants to shove down ‘his choice’ of Internet to the ‘poor’.

And this is the most dangerous thing to happen in this decade.

Here are 5 things he hid from his letter

1.) Chandauli Children Do Not Have A Choice

1) In his letter, he mentions his visit to Chandauli, a small village in Northern India, and is amazed how children are learning ‘Internet’, thanks to his Internet.org.

But he hides the fact that children from this tiny rural village are only able to access 35 odd websites which have taken part in this scheme. Hence, for them, Internet is only these 35 websites. And as Reliance has partnered with Facebook for Internet.org, these children are being exposed to choices which are not made by independent minds, but by corporate managers of Reliance and Facebook.

No great idea will be born from this village, ever, because the core definition of Internet is altered.

2.) Additional Charges For Other Websites

He says his free Internet.org provides an opportunity for the poor and under-privileged persons to access jobs and weather and news content without any extra charge. But what he fails to mention is that, as soon as a user of Internet.org tries to access another website outside their partnership, there is an additional charge for that.

Point 4, section B from the Terms and Conditions of Internet.org by Reliance: “Charges will be applicable as per data plan/ pack, if Customer clicks on a link that directs to a different website, outside of www.internet.org hosted sites, then he will get a prompt with the message informing him that he is stepping out of the Free website.”

This will severely discourage that user to visit any other website, and he or she will be forever trapped within the confinements of the choice which Big Brother Mark has made for these hapless souls. Not only is it crushing the competition, but by lieu of providing ‘free’, its making them addicted and brainwashing them into a particular, closed world.

3.) Internet.org completely violates Digital India

He says that “Our work complements Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India Initiative, which aims to expand Internet access across one of the world’s largest nations.”, but he very cunningly fails to mention that the core of Digital India vision is to provide connectivity and empowerment to all Indians via ‘digital’ medium, and not Facebook and their 35 odd websites platform.

Infact, Internet.org completely violates Digital India principles as it encourages and inspires rural population to access only a few websites, which will entrap and dependent on the choices made by Facebook and Reliance.

The objective of Digital India vision was to empower Indians with information and equality but here, they are losing their power of choice.

4) Facebook Needs to be Accessed Through Internet.org to be free..Why?

Mark says that “We fully support Net neutrality. We want to keep the Internet open. Net neutrality ensures network operators don’t discriminate by limiting access to services you want to use..”

But he very deliberately omits to mention the data charges applicable if other websites are accessed (as shared in point #2) and, more importantly, if Facebook or any any other website is accessed outside the Internet.org application!

As mentioned in Point 4, part E of the Terms and Conditions for Internet.org:

“Charges will be applicable as per data plan/ pack, if Customer: Surfs Facebook or any other free sites directly instead of going through internet.org.”

Hence, Internet.org openly violates the free nature of Internet; binds and compels the user to access Internet via Internet.org app, and intentionally crushes all competition.

5) What If Other Telco’s join Internet.org Platform?

As per Mark, “We will never prevent people accessing other services, and we will not use fast lanes. We’re also open to including all mobile operators in Internet.org, and we’re not stopping anyone from joining. We want as many Internet providers to join so as many people as possible can be connected”

But what he fails to mention is that, if other mobile operators join Facebook’s Internet.org platform, then it will be complete monopoly of them over Internet. Yes, they are not stopping anyone to join them because they will be happy if this nexus between corporate superpowers combine to dominate the web, and ideas and hence, they can own everything.

As mentioned in a brilliant post by SaveTheInternet coalition in Hindustan Times, a study was conducted to understand the “bottom of pyramid” telecom users in Indonesia, where people responded that they don’t use Internet but when asked about Facebook, they said that yes, they use Facebook. The same was found in Africa as well.

For these users, Internet is Facebook!  And by implementing Internet.org across India, they are trying to do the same.

If Mark goes back to 2003, when he launched FaceMash in Harvard campus, and the success inspired Facebook.com, he will discover the root of this problem. Assume Harvard only allowed free access to MySpace (which was quite popular at that time), then what would have happened to FaceMash and Facebook? We would still be using MySpace as it was free.

If Mark is seriously concerned about empowering all, and to connect the world using Internet, then he should ensure free access of all the websites, not just 35 odd partners.

Special thanks to Times Group, Cleartrip, NewsHunt and NDTV for pulling out from this evil conspiracy to tame Internet and we hope that good sense prevails over other partners of Internet.org as well. And, to Flipkart for pulling out from Airtel’s similar plan to dominate Internet.

We cannot let Mark Zuckerberg own and control Internet.

If you think otherwise, do drop in your views in comments…

"Sorry Mark Zuckerberg, We Cannot Allow You To Control Internet. 5 Reasons He Is Completely Wrong", 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
  1. Bob says
  2. DigitalGalaxy says

    I am from the US but I still wrote in to oppose Internet.org. Internet.org was originally going to be free Internet with limited speed, but Facebook abandoned that plan.

    Everyone, including people from India, deserve free Internet with limited speed. It is a right. Here in the US we have free WiFi at lots of places, we have this right. We need to ensure that other places have this right too. Facebook could have offered this, but instead they offer a fake Internet that only they control.

    The solution is Project Loon, Google will succeed where Facebook has resorted to common bribery. Also Microsoft has offered long range antenna technology to connect rural areas. These will give the people the right they deserve: the right to exist in a digital age. If they need to pay for speed that is ok, but not to have access at all. Internet is not a luxury or a optional thing. It is a utility, like water or electricity. Everywhere needs access to free entire Internet with limited speed! Big tech companies need to provide this if localities cannot: these companies know they need to connect the world. Demand real free basics: free Internet, real Internet, and pay extra for speed to maintain infrastructure. Not the Facebook imitation! It is a trap!

  3. Lethabo Phofa says

    I hear what you are saying but are you implying that doing nothing is better?

    I live in south Africa and internet down here I expensive like you wouldn’t believe, initiatives such as internet.org are just trying to help out countries like mine. When you live in a first world country it’s easy to point fingers and complain and judge but to people like me internet.org is a dream come true albeit limited

    1. DigitalGalaxy says

      Lethabo we are implying that free Internet with limited speed is a right, and that paying for extra speed is ok but it is not ok to make people pay for basic access in a digital age. Shuttleworth is from South Africa, and most of the Internet backbone runs on Ubuntu. If Internet is out of reach in South Africa, Shuttleworth should be fixing this situation! Soon Project Loon will arrive and then the people will have free Internet!

  4. Just Amazing Things says

    monopoly is far away from facebook, where google has covered most of the internet market.

  5. Imraan says

    This is expansion of business and trying to do monopoly in the disguise of free internet. We all must oppose this and spread awareness more and more.

  6. Mubina says

    Yess.. you are right. Mark is trying to manipulate people by his arguments but failed to make fool us. That’s absolutely incorrect to bring Internet. org. I just hope that they would fail making monopoly on Internet. We won’t let them control our minds and lives with Internet …

  7. techywacky says

    This is just a conspiracy to confine our free thinking that people are using to reveal their views in and for these capitalists. In fact, through a concealed deal signed between Modi and Mark, it was schemed how and what should they do to control the free thinking of people as a result the internet.org was brought into selves.

  8. kabir says

    Mark is not giving anything for free & Facebook is not the internet.

  9. mark neyer says

    > … a study was conducted to understand the “bottom of pyramid” telecom users in Indonesia, where people responded that they don’t use Internet but when asked about Facebook, they said that yes, they use Facebook. The same was found in Africa as well.

    >… For these users, Internet is Facebook! And by implementing Internet.org across India, they are trying to do the same.

    These two statements directly contradict each other. The claim is that people using internet.org will think the internet consists solely of facebook and those 35 sites, when it appears to be the opposite – those people know there is something out there called the internet that they don’t have access to.

  10. fight4netneutrality says

    Mark Zuckerberg is a liar and cannot ever be trusted. His ulterior motives to exploit and control the internet have been unveiled. People in india must wake up to these facts and not allow being exploited by internet.org. Your sovereignty or intellectual development depends on it.

    1. snowlep says

      Giving some access for free to 35 websites is a lot better than having no access to all. Do not deprive these people from something than can change their lives. Your arguments about exploitation as as asinine as stopping a newspaper from distributing complimentary copies if their paper when there was no internet. Grow up and take the hand extended. It is a friendly hand, not an evil conspiracy.

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