Facebook is a HUGE platform — the second quarter of 2016 alone saw the social media giant boasting 1.71 BILLION users and all kinds of new features — like the ability to help make women make health decisions, or its new, less risky Craigslist. But the network wants to increase that number even further while simultaneously giving Americans in low-income or rural areas access to the Internet.
Dubbed Free Basics, the platform has essentially implemented a service that would offer up free mobile Internet with regard to news, employment, health, education and local information in the US.
Sounds great, right? Well, yes and no.
The product has already been given the red light from India for picking favorites with regard to what the user sees. Known as zero-rating, what this does is effectively limits a users’ Internet experience, relegating them to only the content the provider (in this case, Facebook), approves. In short? It’s a violation of net neutrality, and a form of censorship, really.
While Facebook has since opened up its forum to include all third-party organizations before pitching the idea to the US, it still employs a data-cap that would restrict content providers to those that have the funding and know-how to deal with such restrictions.
Nothing has been officially decided, but Facebook has reportedly taken the idea to the White House, spurring a series of extensive talks.
“While we have nothing to announce, Facebook’s mission is to connect the world, and we’re always exploring ways to do that, including in the United States,” the company said in a statement.
While it’s certainly an interesting idea, we also value our right to explore content freely as we choose, so we’re not entirely sold just yet: Sounds like this one might need jusstttt a few more tweaks!
Would you give up your Net freedom to get free Internet? Share @BritandCo.
(h/t Hello Giggles, photo via Hocus Focus Studio/Getty)