Free Basics is a new face of Facebook’s campaign to provide “free internet” to people. India came on their Radar and they are now petitioning that they be allowed to provide “free internet” to people without any problem. However, it’s not at all as nice as it sounds.
Popular groups like All India Bakchod and East India Comedy have done separate videos on their YouTube channels explaining to people why they should stand against the Free Basics being offered by Facebook. You should go and watch their videos right away, all of which are linked below for your convenience.
Although there are a lot of things that are wrong about this Free Basics campaign, but let me cover the 5 things that I find wrong about the campaign, and the main things that people are opposing.
What’s Wrong About Free Basics
It’s not Free for Everyone
The Free Basics is not free for everyone opposite of what the name suggests. As of now, only people on the Reliance network can access the free basics, by visiting Internet.org. If you try visiting that website on some other network, you are denied access. However, the Indian government has released an order to Reliance to put a pause on this service offering until a decision is made.
Not any service provider can Register for Free Basics
Facebook as a company reserves the right to reject applicants for the Free Basics Internet. This goes completely against the whole “Net Neutrality” thing that they are claiming to not violate. If everything is to be treated equally, then there can not be any rejected applicants if Facebook doesn’t find them suitable.
Ads or No Ads?
Facebook says that the Free Basics platform will not serve any advertisements to their users. But who is to say that they will not serve ads in the future? A lot of good things start out as ad-free, but then end up having ads to support the expenses of the product.
Facebook’s Claim of supporters is Incorrect
Facebook has claimed, a little over 3.2 million people have supported the Facebook’s Free Basics campaign. But out of all these supporters, not everyone is from India and Facebook claims that “accidently” they displayed these support messages to their USA client base.
Access to All the Data by Facebook
When people use Free Basics, Facebook will have access to a lot of more people’s data than they already have. Though Facebook claims that they will never use this data for any purpose, but what’s to say we can trust them? They have supported NSA in the past and they might again expose the data collected by this campaign which will be a serious security threat.
What we need you to do before 30th December 2015?
Right at this stage, you should head over to this website called “Save The Internet” and voice your concerns by sending an email to TRAI using the button there. This will let the TRAI know that you are against the thing being offered by Facebook. Here are the steps to do it.
- Head over to www.savetheinternet.in
- Click on “Respond to TRAI now”, or if you wish to edit some of the answers, choose “Edit my answers”
- Copy the contents of the email that you need to send, and click on Done.
- Next, choose your email service provider and just paste the contents in the email body.
- Now, before hitting send, you should go through what you are sending an email for. You can call this your well informed decision that you’re making.
Make sure you do this before the 30th of December, and spread the awareness about this with your friends and family by sharing this post with them and asking them to voice their concerns as well!