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Opening Facebook’s controversial Free Basics platform

OpenMedia has sent a letter to Facebook requesting common sense, pro-Internet reforms be made to their controversial “Free Basics” platform.

As many of you know, open Internet advocates from around the world are gravely concerned with the discriminatory practices of Facebook’s Free Basics platform (previously called “Internet.org”).

Many of the concerns raised in the Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg Regarding Internet.org, Net Neutrality, Privacy, and Security sent from Access Now, OpenMedia, and nearly 70 other organizations from 31 countries have yet to be adequately addressed.

As many readers will recall, Free Basics violates Net Neutrality, positions Facebook as a global gatekeeper for the Internet, puts users’ privacy at risk, and creates new opportunities for repressive state censorship.

Since the open letter was published, we have engaged over 60,000 Internet users from around the world through our No Fake Internet campaign, and ran a large billboard near Facebook’s head office in Palo Alto, California.

Meanwhile, recent protests against Internet.org at the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil serve as a timely reminder of the wide range of Internet users, civil society organizations, and businesses around the world that are speaking out with their concerns about the company’s controversial platform.

In response, Facebook asked us to clarify our demands, and a few weeks ago we sent a letter detailing our asks. At the time of writing, Facebook has not responded. You can find it in full below.

See: OpenMedia’s Letter to Facebook Re: Opening Internet.org and Free Basics (PDF here).

We’ll keep you posted on Facebook’s response, and look forward to campaigning on this more in the new year.

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