The flood of Tricolor profile pictures on Fb kept me wondering whether we give a thought or bother to understand a cause before supporting it? Most of the time it requires more of knowing and getting into details before standing for and against of any particular cause. Mark Zuckerberg’s Support For Digital India is one such cause which require attention more than sheeple changing our DP.
To go into details of Mark Zuckerberg’s Support For Digital India lets start with some statistics. Facebook has 1.48 million users with a revenue of US $12.4 billion in 2014, that’s US$ 8.65 per person on their service.So the story starts here Facebook is eyeing the 86% of India population which still do not have internet access and that’s a big revenue number in their balance sheet of coming years. So people ask what’s wrong with it? Every company have expansion plans, Isn’t it? And what could be better if they are giving the internet for free, helping India become Digital.
So here lies the trap, First of all, neither Internet.org nor free basic is giving the internet for free. It is just restricting the Internet reach of Indian Poors to facebook and few other unimportant websites which are filtered by Facebook, Barring even the search engine giant like google. Presenting an illusion that the internet is facebook or worse that facebook is the internet.
So eventually Facebook will be the ring master for Indian ‘Poors’ and will dictate what one should and shouldn’t access on the internet.Some people argue that at least something is better than nothing, But in this argument they often forget that this is the starting of a never-ending race. Today Facebook has done it, tomorrow google may follow, then amazon, then eBay, then snapdeal. A day will come when we have thousand of different internet each used by a handful of people who cannot talk or connect with each other. This is the murder of the soul of the internet a network of billion of the website connected together and accessible to all at a stroke of the mouse.
There is a lot more and important stuff on the internet apart from Facebook. If someone really cares about making India Digital then they should consider providing affordable rates of internet plans for poor or some subsidiary on it for low-income families
The internet is like air, no one should be allowed to block the air flowing from a particular direction. It is free flowing and should remain so forever.
P.S- Please do not hasten to change your Profile pic next time in order to stand for a cause, take a moment and think about it.