Critics Blast Zuckerbergs Free Internet
January 26, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg is giving the subcontinent India access to free Internet. In some eyes Zuckerberg is being generous, but his critics are saying he’s doing it to gain control of a 1.2 billion untapped market. The New York Post shares Zuckerberg’s magnanimous act in “Mark Zuckerberg Defends His Free Internet Bid In India.”
Zuckerberg’s free Internet in India is dubbed “Free Basics” and it offers full access to Facebook and other affiliated sites, while blocking access to Google, Twitter, and other rivals. Free Basics’s partner Indian telecom partner Reliance Communication was forced to temporarily shut down service.
Critics are angry with Zuckerberg, claiming he is violating net neutrality and it comes as a slap in the face after he defended it within the United States. Free Basics could potentially ruin Internet competition in India and gain an iron grasp on a developing market. An even more intriguing piece to the story is that Free Basics was formerly named Internet.org, but Zuckerberg was forced to change it so new Internet users would not think that Facebook and related Web sites were all that existed.
“The local tech entrepreneur warned that ‘the incentive to invest in better, faster and cheaper access to the entire Internet will be replaced with one of providing better, faster and cheaper access to [Facebook’s] websites and apps’…In his Monday op-ed piece, Zuckerberg at times sounded exasperated as he insisted that the limited access provided by Free Basics was better than no access at all.”
Free Basics has already been deployed in thirty-five countries and provides free Internet for fifteen million people.
What’s the problem with wanting one’s way like blocking our competitors’ services? Absolutely nothing, if you rule the world. If not, there may be push back. I learned this in kindergarten. Zuckerberg can expect lots of push back.