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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Problems And Issues With Facebook's Free Internet (Free Basics)

The Surprising Truth about Facebook's

No, is not a nonprofit organization that subsidizes Internet access for new users.

Mike Elgan | February 15, 2016

You may have heard that is a nonprofit organization launched by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and dedicated to bringing Internet access to people who can’t access it, or can’t afford it.
But this isn’t true—not any of it.
The realities of came into question last week when India banned it from the country. If the Internet is good, and simply exists to get people on it, why was it banned?
Let’s start with a basic question.

Facebook chooses which sites are included and which are rejected, and the local carriers may get veto power as well.
Facebook has published these criteria, which are focused on the size of the data load, and has thus far not rejected any sites for reasons that are not technical. Facebook claims that any site, including competitors, are allowed to join Facebook’s Internet. For example, Facebook does not enforce the “community guidelines” required of companies setting up shop on
What’s really surprising is that Facebook isn’t even providing the subsidy—the local carriers are, according to a report on Buzzfeed.
That same report also pointed out that nearly all Free Basics users were already on the Internet before they started using Free Basics. They simply use it to reduce their data bills. Carriers participate because it’s part of their customer acquisition strategy. It’s a “free” thing they can offer customers.

'Free Basics by Facebook' replaces website and app. Source:

<more at; related links: (Seeing Beyond The Hubris Of Facebook’s Free Basics Fiasco. February 13, 2016) and (Free Basics by Facebook)

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