When it comes to India, Facebook has no friends
It looks like Facebook is not liked by everyone in the world. In an attempt to offer the people of India free internet, the social media giant was reportedly denied by the country, according to mic.com.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, India’s version of the FCC, released new laws this past Monday that banned Facebook’s Free Basics program. According to mic, the Free Basics program is a system that gives internet access to people in other countries who might lack it. However, Facebook chooses the services that the country can access.
The people of India were not happy about this and protested to voice their concerns. Activists for net neutrality stated that the social media site was simply using India’s need online connectivity as a chance to only grow their user base.
India’s new regulation states that, "no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content." The new laws will come up for review in two years.
Facebook has spent the past few months campaigning to get the people of India onboard with Free Basics, mic says. The company placed ads in major Indian publications, put up billboard in New Delhi and CEO Mark Zuckerberg even hosted the prime minister. It was here that Zuckerberg pledged to get the people of India connected.
Zuckerberg wrote an opinion piece for the Times of India, chastising activists for spreading “false claims” and saying that the cause of getting people online was worth whatever little trades the Indian people would give over to Facebook in the process.