Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve heard of internet.org. If not, here’s a quick summary; Internet.org is the brain child of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg; his grand plan is to connect people by making internet services more readily available (either free or at an affordable cost) in less developed countries. Sounds like a mammoth task, right? Well he’s not alone. As it stands his social networking company Facebook is currently partnered with no less than six high profile tech companies, which includes the likes of; Samsung, Nokia and Eriksson.
However the plan has come under criticism, sounds odd doesn’t it? Why would such a wonderful idea come under criticism? Well in actuality when looking closely at the suggested plan there are tell-tale signs which mean that internet.org favours those big companies involved, therefore violating net neutrality.
For those unaware: “Net neutrality (also network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.” Source; Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality
For the time being, let’s ignore the criticisms and focus on the positives. Empowering and educating those who currently lack what many first world residents take for granted is a truly noble task and one which could shape the world for the better in years to come. Access to the internet could inspire entire communities to flourish, the possibilities are almost endless.
Now, let’s look a little deeper into the negatives. As it stands, if you’re reading this in a first world country, as an internet user at home or on your mobile device, you have a choice of what you access online. There are many different internet service providers to choose from, none of which currently ban online content (so long as it falls within legal boundaries). Now on the other hand, if you consider that these billion dollar companies will be in charge of what is accessible to this new market… is it a little scary? We aren’t suggesting that this will happen, but it’s worth considering that in theory, they could only promote their own services and withhold content which portrays them in a negative light, therefore making the services on offer biased.
To sum up, we thought best to list the pros and cons, after all only you can decide how you feel about internet.org
|It’s free internet for people in less developed areas
|The content is restricted, which goes against net neutrality
|It will connect social groups and educate those in need
|The content could be biased and tailored to the needs of those in charge
|It will open up worldwide opportunities
|It could inspire a generation which will benefit the greater good of humankind
Interested in internet.org? Find out more on their website… but remember, look past the fancy marketing and decide for yourself; is this good news or bad?