On a Recent 1 hour long Q&A session, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered all the questions that he though were worth answering. All the users poured out their queries related to different fields and issues not just Facebook.
One of the most talked and intrigued topic was Net Neutrality and Facebook’s Internet.org project.
Before getting into the discussion, here’s a little background on Net Neutrality and Facebook’s Internet.org project.
Net neutrality is the basic principle the whole internet revolves around. This principle summarizes the internet as a neutral medium and all the data that it transfers should be treated equally, with the origin and the destination of data not making any difference at all.
Facebook’s internet.org is a project started by Facebook. This project aims to provide internet services to the people all over the world, and mostly to the ones who have never been connected to the internet or the ones that have trouble making the most of the internet. And it also aims at providing the most basic internet services to all these deprived people free of cost.
So, does Facebook’s huge Internet.org project to get the whole world online and let people make the most of the internet, not in line with the rules and principles of Net Neutrality? Lets see.
How Internet.org might not be following the principles of Net Neutrality?
Internet.org ‘s project aims at providing people in the developing countries to use the most basic internet services free of cost and broaden their knowledge and get much closer to today’s connected world. In the aim of providing free access to these service, people get familiar to the apps and services that is inside the Internet.org ‘s app. And if people have to access other facilities, they will have to pay the normal data charges.
So, this will make the users the apps and websites that are free to access on the internet.org and other websites and services will never be used. This is totally against Net Neutrality’s principle. Net neutrality means all the data or services that is on the network should be treated equally and there should be no prioritization what so ever.
But, by including only certain apps and service in their Internet.org ‘s app this also looks like they’ve brought forward the idea of prioritization among all the internet services and websites. And this might bring along and unhealthy competition between different internet businesses or services to get into the app or try to get people into their services as well, the people who were able to access internet because of the Internet.org project. And in this competition, the giant companies with huge investment potential will always be the winner and small businesses and startups will never be able to get infront of their potential customers and users.
So, this is totally wrong as compared to the Net Neutrality’s principle. Isn’t it ?
But, there is also a different side of the story.
Internet.org is also helping our community.
We all live in an era , where internet is also considered to be one of the basic needs. So Facebook’s project is helping and actually doing a great favor to this generation by bringing forth this huge project to get all the people all over the world online. Yes Net neutrality is also a big issue, but lets forget that for a second and look at the other side of the story.
Internet.org mainly revolves around two major projects, providing free access to the most basic internet services and another one is to find easy internet providing mediums or mechanisms.
Facebook has already kicked of the project in Zambia, Columbia ,and India. People who have never used the internet are now using the Internet.org ‘s app and using the free internet services.
These free services that are included will be different according to the respective country but the basic services are news, weather, Facebook, messenger, Wikipedia, baby center& Mama etc.
So, now people who have never seen the face of internet are now reading the news about all over the world, they are connecting with their family and friends, finding the weather for the rest of that day and learning more about the things they are passionate and unlocking future possibilities.
Internet.org is one of the biggest and much needed project any tech company has ever started. Despite it might cross over the rules of Net Neutrality, this indeed is doing good.
What Should Actually Be Done?
Facebook is a company filled with extremely experienced people with sophisticated minds and they pretty much know what they are doing, and are aware of what’s going on right now.
Still, what we think Facebook should be doing is they should keep on the work they have been doing and get the people that look at using internet to unleash their future as a impossible dream, connected to all the basic internet service for free.
For now, it is fine that they have introduced the facilities for free and should continue to do so in the future as well. But, they should make sure not to include any other services or company into their app that provide services for their own benefit. What we’re actually trying to say is, the most basic services should only be included in the service like weather, Wikipedia, news and no other services.
I personally think even Facebook should not be included because this will definitely create biasness that Facebook’s sole motive behind the project is to get all the people to use Facebook as their major social media and not other services.
But what they should do in the future is introduce free email access which will keep people in touch with the loved ones and do not have to use any social media service to do that. This will not create any debate, as only the primary internet services will be free and also those services that do not exist for the sole purpose of profit generation from its users.
This is a never ending debate for sure. But still no matter what, we think Internet.org is a project that should go forward and fulfill all the goals that it admires to fulfill.
What do you think about Facebook’s Internet.org project and Net Neutrality??