Facebook’s Free Internet Initiative is Economic Democracy at it’s Best!

billboard in India for Facebook's free internet initiative

A first step towards digital equality. Facebook as a first step is making a new campaign of free internet initiative where you can use the Facebook application plus around 30 other applications and website for free. The campaign is set to be triggered in July 2018 in several countries including such as Kenya, Nairobi, Mambasa, Kisumu and India which is the territory i will be discussing now. In this service millions of people who are Cell C users will be able to reach out and use Facebook and other websites about health and jobs without being charged for data, Markku Makelainen, Facebook’s director of global operator partnerships said.

Many rivalries went against Mark Zuckerberg and this initiative, considering it as a colonization policy and a way to control the society and community. Colonization is not set on those basis, how is it “colonizing” a community when it is actually giving it more access to the world and communicating all around, and for free? Countless companies and citizens criticized this service instead of being thankful for what they are offered.

Indians protesting on the streets against the new services.

This service is pure equality and democracy, nevertheless economic democracy. When more people are having access to communicating with each other, economy will improve and give more space for people to get involved in the country’s economy. More people are indulged and educated, people are more sociable and are more opened to the outer world and societies, which will help improve the regulations and mentalities.

If anything, i think that the government and political parties are the ones raising criticism and negative feedback on the service since they are aware that mentalities will change and the citizens will be more demanding. Maybe that’s the way they’re thinking.

Free internet access to people who are mostly in need for it is very important and a very big step forward to strength of communities. No one forced anyone to make any account or to become part of the users of the service, it has a free trial period and those who like it can download it and start paying a small amount of money for charges. Hence, it is logically an economic democracy, economic since it enhances financial spending and the demand policies, then again it is absolutely democratic since it forces no one onto certain actions.

Several posts in several countries supported this service such as in Kenya ( https://info.internet.org/en/blog/2017/03/29/announcing-the-launch-of-express-wi-fi-by-facebook-in-kenya/). In this post they said that it enhances communication and helping entrepreneurs grow and make the world more opened and connected.

This proves that in India the objection is abnormal. In Africa it makes a big event of launching free trials for Facebook pages and making accounts. Accordingly, instead of focusing on the benefits of the Facebook company, they have to focus on their own benefits out of the service and what it provides. It is not a win-win situation for Faebook company only, this service serves both the institution and the users. The least thing the owner would try to benefit in is gaining from the accounts, after the free trials and oppurtunities they offer, it is not a bad thing to benefit afterall it is an economic movement forward for both sides of the deal.

Here’s another post on Facebook that incourages the free basics initiative and says that it is for the best. He says in this post that just like people need health and education, in the 21st century the generations needs technology and connection to the world to coplete their lives and sociability. https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/free-basics-protects-net-neutrality/ .

This new service is not colonization but it is proposing a new model for market driven development and economic democracy in Africa where it is most needed. They are not exploiting the bad infrastructure in the countries but they are helping them improve and find faster ways out of the problems. Afterall what are solutions made of without research, and what is research without internet?

“Research shows that the biggest barriers to connecting people are affordability and awareness of the internet. Many people can’t afford to start using the internet. But even if they could, they don’t necessarily know how it can change their lives. (Mark Zuckerberg)”

The founder and chairman of Facebook is widely awake of what he is saying and he thinking logically, instead of appreciating his work and services people are criticizing him and turning him into the bad person at the end.

Free basics, free internet initiative is a process where the world wil all be treated equally, it is project of equality that states that if you are poor and ot capable of being updated because of the financial disability, it is no longer a problem. It does not matter if you are poor or rich, what matters is being able to be engaged in whats happening around you in the world and being eductaed.

On the contrary of whome they thought this services is colonization, i think it is motivational and very important, it promotes equality and motivated the generations for learning and being educated and updated.

references:

https://elearn.lau.edu.lb/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/file?cmd=view&content_id=_198975_1&course_id=_24344_1

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