Facebook Busted Trying To Fake Support For Its Net Neutrality Positions In India
from the we-see-what-you-did-there dept
Like any good giant international company, Facebook's response to this call for open and honest dialogue has been to launch a mammoth media and lobbying blitz across India. The campaign has included buying entire newspaper spreads in which Mark Zuckerberg professes to be super worried about the country's farmers, to some subtle, local advertising:
Being Facebook-generated form letters, TRAI points out that none of these responses appear to answer any of the questions the regulators put forth in its original call for feedback. Facebook's response, attached to the filing, is to claim that the company actually helped generate 11 million supporters of Free Basics, yet it mysteriously has no idea where these missing 9.1 million responses disappeared to. In other words, Facebook not only tried to trick its users into spamming the government, but it appears it may have lied about the overall volume of support Free Basics had.
Combined with Zuckerberg's claims that opponents of Free Basics are extremists that hate the poor, Facebook's making an excellent case for its critics who say that creating a walled garden version of the Internet in which Facebook is king is a very bad idea. A better idea? As numerous folks have suggested, how about putting all of this money being spent on Free basics, lobbying, spamming and marketing into actually updating India's lagging broadband infrastructure?