How I freed your Internet

“But dad, we know how you met mom! You’ve been boring us with that shit since the past 9 years! Tell us about THE Internet!” the kids stressed, rather ruefully.

“So kids, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook on February 4, 2004”, said I, sitting in front of the kids in the same sofa I’ve been sitting on since, well, they were right, past nine years.

“Before that your internet was just the average Joe, but it could still do a lot,” I continued, in a monologue as is customary, “Well it could do everything sane, I would say. But this Mark guy destroyed not only productivity of smart kids but also the last shred of sensibility and intellect. People lost it after that. Status updates like “Jst hd brgr, ws mind bogling amzng” and check ins like “at Starbucks with frnzzz having *cough* insanely overpriced *cough* coffee” by every other person became the order of the day. What was more, people shared and liked Sai baba’s photos to save one life because one like had that much power. I am not complaining though, I had a pretty good laugh out of this and Mark guy profited like fuck. I heard he shat gold too, don’t know if that was a rumor. Anyway, all this was fine until one day, the shrewd chap came up with “free basics”! You know about net neutrality, I hope?”

“Yup, we read it in the history book. The one where every website should be given equality in terms of speed and accessibility. There was a new rule, which if implemented, dictated that companies that could pay extra money could get faster internet and thus quicker accessibility. This would have potentially ruined small and budding companies. I am expecting there was a Gandhi here too, who freed our internet, Pa?

“Yes, kiddo, and many Gandhis there were. Just a tad cooler I would say. AIB and such. The savetheinternet.org movement started mid-2014 and was a huge success. People joined hands in large number, virtually, of course. Petitions were signed and websites were made for the purpose. It was like “Simon, go back” all over again. No jallianwala bagh, thankfully. But then came Zuckerberg. He was like the viceroy, Lord Curzon of British India, only instead of sowing seeds communal discord, Zuckerberg tried to divide India by convincing innocent citizens that free basics is actually supporting net neutrality! He even used the word “free” to distract Indians! Via free basics Facebook tried to bring certain “services” to “poor” Indian people by making those services free to them, so that, when these people had free internet, they could use Facebook and its partners free of cost but they would have to pay for everything else. This was in violation of Net neutrality, a very elaborate plan to keep Facebook safe when net neutrality goes in the bin. But we worked. We sent Emails and signed petitions day and night! Note that we did not use force of any kind, we could have very well thrown a shoe or two at Mark when he came to our IIT, but we saved that for our politicians.”

“And, kids, that’s how we saved your Internet. Go watch HIMYM on Netflix now”

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