Yeah, I absolutely agree with the fact that in today’s world of internet, internet and only internet, not being connected seems a very scary feeling. But I’m not exactly sure whether or not the Internet.org project is a move to be happy about or fuss endlessly on how it lacks and betrays the idea of internet itself.
Internet.org, launched in 2013 by Facebook in partnership with Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson, MediaTek and Opera Software, ‘aim’s to provide an ‘affordable’ internet connection to users throughout the planet. As a part of their propaganda, Internet.org launched it’s maiden services in collaboration with Reliance Communications in India on the 10th of this February. And like CryBytes already reported the launching, the current status of service etc, is that all that is there to it? Or there’s something more than meets the eye?
In the list of services Internet.org provides for free, it offers users absolutely no choice of the services freely! Yup, just like an avid internet surfer, even I was puzzled that they’d be only providing me less than 0.0001% of the available sites on the internet! So I won’t be able to use Google or Yahoo to search for info (understandable since FB has paired up with MS) or use Google+ or any other rival social networking sites (Man, FB’s the project leader ;)) too from the internet.org app. A clear violation of net neutrality. Same goes for all other news, entertainment, job, e-commerce and lifestyle apps Internet.org provides you. Why does Internet.org lie on their homepage – “Internet.org is a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts who are working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it.’. They seem to only care to bring a selective particle of the internet. Honestly speaking, Internet.org does really want more users online, but only for accessing those sites which the former approves of. This is just what the current Internet.org service does in India. First, it means bringing FB and the services it approves to disconnected Indians, and two, it increases Reliance’s market share. Some would argue that Facebook bringing at least a few services for the offline people and that too for free is a generous and welcome move but I say at the cost of freedom, it ain’t.
Before anyone blasts me for convicting Internet.org, let me tell you I’m not the first person and surely not the last one either, to raise concerns over this project. As reported by many moguls earlier, Internet.org is a way to get Facebook access to those who aren’t connected. And since the volume of people who never use the internet is exponential, it means $ome $eriou$ revenue source for FB and it’s partners.
So far, Facebook is still miles away from becoming the only choice for social networking. Let’s just hope Internet.org doesn’t help Facebook rule our lives even more.
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