Facebook Will Use Your Tricolor Profile Pic To Prove Your Support For Internet.org [Source Code]

A look at the source code and well, the profile pic is NOT for the support of Digital India, but for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. In a response to DoT, Facebook just announced that 17 million people have supported the Internet.org service.

Mark-Zuckerberg-DigitalIndiaMark Zuckerberg has changed his profile pic – and I won’t.

I got a bit of flak from several Indians who consider it a moment of pride that an American has changed his profile pic to Indian tricolor as support for India’s digitalIndia initiative.

But No.

The hidden agenda is ‘Internet.org’  – the free Internet that will kill Internet freedom and will hurt the startup ecosystem as well.

What Really Happens When You Change Your Profile Pic?

A look at the source code and well, the profile pic is NOT for the support of Digital India, but for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative.



What’s The Big Deal?

In a response to DoT, Facebook just announced that 17 million people have supported the Internet.org service. The company has published all comments received (dropbox link/via) – which was (I believe) mostly collected from its CAN’T-SAY-NO-POLLS.

Facebook Trying To Prove Indians YES to Internet.org
Facebook Trying To Prove Indians YES to Internet.org

While you might be updating your profile pic to (look cool) show your support towards Digital India, Facebook is counting it as a support for Internet.org !

So Mr. Narendra Modi, will you please undo the changes damage?

Mr. Modi : Are You Supporting Facebook's 'Digital India'?
Mr. Modi : Are You Supporting Facebook’s ‘Digital India’?

Update : Facebook has clarified the issue.

“There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and Internet.org. An engineer mistakenly used the words “Internet.org profile picture” as a  name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion.”

Can You Still Trust Facebook?

No. Not when it comes to Internet.org promotion. For a company that has ran sleazy polls like these, there can’t be any trust.

Facebook Internet Org Message

[Thanks Nikhil Vishnu for the tip.]

  1. Digital Hell India will screw mother earth even more.. who cares if foreign companies like Google and Apple will make money? Gujjubhai in Wonderland aka Paresh Rawal the comedian is f****ing it up for all of us in the name of development.

  2. internet.org : -> Is it evil ?
    Absolutely Not.
    Following logic is given against internet.org
    => Free internet access to selected few websites will kill competitions. If browsing is free for facebook.com and flipkart.com then people won’t visit other websites like amazon.com, snapdeal.com etc.

    It is total rubbish. Why ?
    1) Lets say restaurant A offers toll free number for home delivery
    and restaurant B does not. If we apply same logic, then everybody will call restaurant A and restaurant B is doomed. But in all practicality, it is not.
    Business will flourish based on who provides tasty food, more variety and better delivery.
    Because one phone call does not cost much. Same logic is applied to internet.
    Lets say flipkart is on Airtel Zero platform, that does not mean people wont check competitive pricing in other websites. Moreover internet charges are almost free, if you are within your plan limit.(lets say Rs 100 for 300 MB data)

    2) internet.org is targeting people who cannot afford internet, who never used internet before. If they cannot afford internet , are they going to buy items online from sanpdeal, amazon,flipkart ?
    Moreover 80/20 rule says 20% of the population generates 80% of the revenues for these company. All big ticket items will be purchased by these 20% of the population. So these people, who never used internet before, were never a customer for these companies.
    So competition will be killed is utter nonsense.

    3) If free access to Facebook is an issue, then same way free TV channel like Doordarshan should be an issue.
    Doordarshan is always under political influence of ruling party, but facebook is completely open platform, absolutely anyone can share their views and useful information.

    4) If business houses provide free internet instead of government doling out subsidies ,what is the harm ?

    5) Internet.org’s list of 38 sites includes Facebook, Wikipedia, cricinfo.com, three job sites (babajobs, Jagran Josh, TimesJobs), and various healthcare, childcare and weather services.
    babajobs posts jobs for Maid, Cook, Aayah, Nurse, Helper etc. Similarly Wikipedia is a store house of knowledge and information. So this free internet going to help those who have never used internet before to find better jobs with better salary and move up the social ladder. They might even take a monthly mobile data plan.

    6) There will be always naysayers, when Indians s/w engineers started with Y2k problem, these naysayers used to call them software coolies, but Y2k
    facilitated software service industry which attracted global corporation in India and eventually start-up ecosystem was created here.

    7) Who are against internet.org ? People like us, who can afford internet. We are deciding the fate of those, who never used internet before. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    These naysayers are myopic in their views and fail to see the big picture and always see conspiracy in everything.

  3. We are very Happy to see that Mark Zuckerberg and our PM kept their profile pic as a Tricolor. But when you are using a Tricolor for any cause we should respect our tricolor and its dignity, why I’m raising this because these Big people have forgotten to show Ashok Chakkra which is very important icon in our Tricolor…

    Hope They resolve it ASAP.

  4. A variable name in JS file is a very flimsy evidence of support for digital India being counted as support for internet.org. Looks like a code copy-paste. Rest of article is just a FUD against FB/MZ/Internet.org.

  5. Look at your own statement which lacks definitive information/statements. It says “I believe …”

    Also, is India so dumb that it will take the voting called for ‘support Digital India’ as one vote for internet.org?

    I reproduce your statement:

    …”In a response to DoT, Facebook just announced that 17 million people have supported the Internet.org service. The company has published all comments received (dropbox link/via) – which was (I believe) mostly collected from its CAN’T-SAY-NO-POLLS.” …

  6. यह बिकाऊ संस्कृति का पुख्ता सबूत है.खुद को बेचा है,देश को भी बेचेगे.झंडे का महा अपमान !

  7. I am not aware about the technicalities. But with so many Indian’s spending their maximum time on facebook, I don’t think they need to use such tactics to get any more support. It would hardly matter. By changing our dp we are showing our support to Narendra Modi and his brilliant digital India Initiative and we trust our PM

    1. We dont need digital India..first we need to remove hunger from pur country. Modi should help the poor farmers and provide electricity in every village instead of travelling to every country.

  8. Is this a joke or what?

    To whom, they will going to submit this report?? Whoever they are, are they that dumb?? Those people who will take decision, don’t they know a changing DP can not be a vote..!! I mean if I want modiji as our prime-minister, should changing the DP to Modiji means I am voting for him..!! 😛
    Are you kidding guyss..!! 😀

      1. Ashish,

        Thanks for the sarcasm. I think you guys should research better before writing articles. Your news is all over indiatimes and twitter (must be nice to get away with sensationalism).

        I’ve struggled to find details about a fresh ask for internet.org support details by DoT. The last submission seemed to have been before August end. Facebook may not have been honest (as per reports) with the submissions: http://www.medianama.com/2015/08/223-facebook-internet-org/

        But I see no supporting evidence in your article’s headline that support for digital india means facebook will ‘misuse’ it as support for internet.org. You state this confidently in your article headline, and at the end of the article. All I see is a div class name being reused as evidence, which it isn’t.

        Can one of your tech guys review the facts and explain? If I’m wrong, I’ll gladly apologize. But if you are wrong, will you?

        That’ll be good journalistic ethics.

      2. Ashish,

        I’ve spent the past 6 years writing websites, apps and I can assure you that using css classnames would be most absurd and ridiculous way to create a voting system. I’m sure you may not be aware of that and it may not be fair to expect a journalist to know that. However, it is expected from a journalist to do the absolute minimum to validate/research a claim before writing such an article.

        If you were made to believe that this is true from your tech team, I can assure you that they are making you (through this article) look stupid to thousands of software engineers who know that this is absurd.

  9. No, they are completely different animals. On the ground implementation of DI has nothing to do with free internet, let alone specific internet.org:

    >Approach and Methodology for Digital India Programme are:

    1. Ministries / Departments / States would fully leverage the Common and Support ICT Infrastructure established by GoI. DeitY would also evolve/ lay down standards and policy guidelines, provide technical and handholding support, undertake capacity building, R&D, etc.

    2. The existing/ ongoing e-Governance initiatives would be suitably revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India. Scope enhancement, Process Reengineering, use of integrated & interoperable systems and deployment of emerging technologies like cloud & mobile would be undertaken to enhance the delivery of Government services to citizens.

    3. States would be given flexibility to identify for inclusion additional state-specific projects, which are relevant for their socio-economic needs.

    4. e-Governance would be promoted through a centralised initiative to the extent necessary, to ensure citizen centric service orientation, interoperability of various e-Governance applications and optimal utilisation of ICT infrastructure/ resources, while adopting a decentralised implementation model.

    5. Successes would be identified and their replication promoted proactively with the required productization and customisation wherever needed.

    6. Public Private Partnerships would be preferred wherever feasible to implement e-Governance projects with adequate management and strategic control.

    7. Adoption of Unique ID would be promoted to facilitate identification, authentication and delivery of benefits.

    8. Restructuring of NIC would be undertaken to strengthen the IT support to all government departments at Centre and State levels.

    9. The positions of Chief Information Officers (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key Ministries so that various e-Governance projects could be designed, developed and implemented faster. CIO positions will be at Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary level with over-riding powers on IT in the respective Ministry.


    I support this wholeheartedly because this is the stepping stone to 100% transparency, accountability, and efficiency. No more lost files, no more hidden accounts, no more unaccountable decisions. Once every bit of government record is digitized, it’s easy to ask for access and make the entire system public.

  10. Check the code again please its “internetOrgProfile Picture_prideAvatar” ( “OrgProfile” picture means “original profile picture ” internet is an assigned code to link your original profile picture on facebook to the pride avatar code which they had earlier used for the Gay Pride campaign . So its more like in place of the Rainbow filter they are using Tri colour Filter in the code .

    I think the author is making a misunderstand of the code here

    1. If there would be no such thing as internet.org I could accept that org stand for original but… sorry your analogy is incorrect, remember nothing comes for free and why facebook is taking so much interest in digital India? he is business man and an American means foreigner after all. We have bad memory of British remember never forget that…

    1. Please learn English words and grammar basics and then proceed with your response about Digital India. Even if you can’t that’s alright write in any Indian language which is written in proper basic grammar.

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