Mark Zuckerberg is extremely clear about his vision behind Internet.org – to get as many people online (especially those who cannot afford Internet).
This is what he recently wrote (on Facbook):

But net neutrality is not in conflict with working to get more people connected. These two principles — universal connectivity and net neutrality — can and must coexist.
To give more people access to the internet, it is useful to offer some service for free. If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all.
Internet.org doesn’t block or throttle any other services or create fast lanes — and it never will. We’re open for all mobile operators and we’re not stopping anyone from joining. We want as many internet providers to join so as many people as possible can be connected.
Arguments about net neutrality shouldn’t be used to prevent the most disadvantaged people in society from gaining access or to deprive people of opportunity.Eliminating programs that bring more people online won’t increase social inclusion or close the digital divide. It will only deprive all of us of the ideas and contributions of the two thirds of the world who are not connected.
Every person in the world deserves access to the opportunities the internet provides. And we can all benefit from the perspectives, creativity and talent of the people not yet connected.
We have a historic opportunity to connect billions of more people worldwide for the first time. We should work together to make that happen now.[source]

Fair enough! Intentions seems to be noble.
Now, let’s watch this ad (thanks rohin for the reminder) by Reliance and Facebook promoting Internet.org

And now, for god sake, spot a poor in this promotional campaign by Reliance!
The messaging is very clear : rich gets richer, poor gets poorer.
And that’s the problem with Internet.org : Clear intentions, but actions are different (and left over to telcos – who will play it to their benefits).
Sorry Mark Zuckerberg. *Poor* don’t need access to ToI/Olx/NewsHunt..and importantly, Facebook for their first Internet experience.
And by the way, spot the poor please! We need to send this to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.

1 comment

  • Height of Digital Divide in India:
    We sell unused old stuff with just a click of a button. While, Farmer has to pledge himself with middlemen to sell his crop. (Due to Communication gap b/w farmer and buyers)
    AND, You are suspicious of hidden agendas and worried about Net Neutrality with #digitalindia
    As i am from agri background, can someone clarify this ?
    – If Net Neutrality is unbiased internet service from ISP which treat all websites equally, Then why the service is biased towards affordable and not to unaffordable ?.
    -why cannot a rural citizen get benefit from the power of internet with at least a basic service like knowing the mandi prices, basic education, Govt schemes etc ?
    Do you think these people use net to waste their time on facebook and shopping ?
    What’s wrong in giving these services free of cost to a farmer who wants to know latest seed varieties from Agri universities?
    I don’t know the depth of your suspicion. But, spreading your suspicion will cause more harm to the country and rural people. Or else, lets bring pressure on Govt to divide websites in to different categories like Govt Service, Not For Profit services, Media Service, Entertainment, Shopping/e-commerce etc and demand for above first three in internet.org

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