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Recap: Facebook’s Plan To Give The World A Fake Internet Service

Here’s a brief rundown of Facebook’s highly controversial Free Basics program.

Since Facebook first introduced its controversial Free Basics program (formerly called ‘’), your OpenMedia team has been following its developments closely.

Less than a month ago, we joined with 30 groups from around the world and signed an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg regarding Facebook’s recent actions concerning the Free Basics program in India. You can see the letter here.

We’ve also asked Facebook to open and revise their controversial platform in a letter we sent the company back in December.

And 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.

Today, we wanted to share a great retrospective from the folks at BuzzFeed, that details just exactly where Facebook went wrong with the Free Basics platform. In particular, we wanted to highlight the following, which comes from our friend Chris Riley at Mozilla:

“This is a really really difficult problem to solve,” said Chris Riley, head of public policy at Mozilla, which has tried its own zero-rated approach. “There are alliances and coalitions and foundations and governments throwing hundreds of millions of dollars to make progress on the active problem of connecting the unconnected. Taking that seriously and offering something as one possible solution that we can talk about, that we can discuss, that we can explore would have been a much better approach.”

“Clearly they did not prepare for the level of negative feedback that they have gotten,” he said. “Clearly.”

Be sure to check out the full BuzzFeed article here.


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