Last month, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in India, defending his company’s initiative Internet.org, promoted now in a new avatar called Free Basics. The programme’s key feature is free access to select websites, or zero rating.
Facebook claims it will help to extend Internet access to millions who find data charges unaffordable. Its critics see it as an attempt to segment the Internet, where web content controlled by Facebook would be easier and cheaper to access than the rest of the Internet. There is strong ground to believe that the critics’ case is flawed since, the outcome they fear would commercially hurt the very companies that offer Free Basics.