Many users logged on to Facebook today to find a message waiting for them from Free Basics. The simple and seemingly harmless message was asking them to do just one small thing: give consent for Free Basics to Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI).
To make the appeal stronger, it had a humanitarian angle of how it will help connect billions of people to the Internet with just one email from your side to TRAI, without which it will get banned.
— Rosh (@TekiRosh) December 17, 2015
I hope you were not fooled by it.
— Kapil (@kapsology) December 17, 2015
Free Basics is just another name for Internet.org, against which many activist and the common public have been campaigning against for months. Negating the whole concept of ‘Net Neutrality‘ and giving the power of your Internet to just one platform, Free Basics can run over many entrepreneurial dreams before they even begin.
The guerrilla tactics by Facebook managed to anger many people out there who are making sure that Free Basics does not become a reality in India. People took to Twitter to express their dissent:
— Vinod Lathe (@vinodlathe) December 17, 2015
— Peter Griffin (@zigzackly) December 17, 2015
— Somil Agrawal (@somilagrawal) December 17, 2015
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) December 17, 2015
People, stop signing up blindly for FB’s ‘free basics’ campaign. It goes against the principle of #NetNeutrality. Plz spread the word.
— Sneha Mahale (@randomcards) December 17, 2015
— Kya Sahi Kya Galat (@_ShazL) December 17, 2015
Posts like these are becoming common on Facebook with people campaigning against Free Basics and people sought to mediums like Reddit to spread the message:
With just two weeks remaining for the Facebook campaign to end and TRAI to exercise a decision on the issue, let’s make sure #NetNeutrality lives.