By Sajjad Amin Bangash
In the movie “Spider-Man“, the uncle of the hero says to the hero that “When you are in possession of power, there falls a huge responsibility on your shoulders with the ownership of power so use your power very accurately and decently.”
This is very right and wise advise as in our world, there are few people who possess the power to decide the life of millions of people in few seconds of time thus they need to be very wise and prudent in making the decisions which are related to millions of associated people and such people are: the top politicians of the world, the presidents of different countries, or the top richest people who run 80% of world’s economy and some companies – products of which millions of people around the world use and are addicted in such as Facebook.
Approximately over 07 billion of people live in our world out of which 1.4 billion live in China. Facebook has been banned in China since 2006 but still on Facebook, there are 1.6 billion of active users exist around the world whereas 01 person out of 03 people doesn’t use Facebook for whatever reasons. While there is a tremendous increase in the population of Facebook; making it one of the powerful and influential companies of the world.
Facebook possess much power than the uncle of the spider man advised him to use prudently and today Facebook is going to use that power which according to some experts is ‘ the misuse of power’. In our world, 02 out of 03 people don’t have access to internet in their localities. Facebook has created such website i.e., “internet.org” for those people to use free internet. “internet.org” can be used freely even without the availability of internet connection by computer and mobile phones.
After logging into “internet.org” you can further find websites which can be used free of cost including Facebook as well. Several IT experts aren’t happy with this move as they fear that with this step, facebook will convert into ‘privatized entity’ by which in future they will be able to control everything they can.
From India to USA, several articles have been written against internet.org, and to an extent that you will find every article seem to be advocating against this. According to them, initially Facebook will convert people’s habit in using free internet then later on; it will manipulate and promote their own advertisements and businesses which Facebook will have control on or yield profit from.
This is similar to Microsoft scenario in 1995, when Microsoft started to release “free internet browser: internet Explorer” with Windows operating system 95 whereas other browsers of different vendors were not available free in the market. Microsoft was sued for this in the court. The court made a decision against Microsoft for which they had to pay 01 million $ per day as penalty and this kept on for few months but eventually, all other companies stopped releasing ‘free browsers” and all internet browsers started to be available free in the market ever since.
Currently, over 03 trillions of dollars of businesses is being carried out annually on internet and people and all concerned fear that Facebook with the free internet will be able to swallow all of the online businesses. Therefore, experts have started to grieve over the ‘internet.org’ by terming it “controlled internet”. Although, for general people, it will look quite fascinating news as within few years, internet will convert into totally ‘free’ which will fully be controlled by few companies i.e., to what quantity and when, the users will use internet, it will be decided by those very companies.
In India, “AdCampaign” named social activists have launched a campaign against “internet.org” with a slogan “Don’t snatch our internet from us” is very common message these days. But these are the people who are just protesting merely on hearsay and what is the backdrop reality, the reality is something else.
Necessarily, about 40% of the internet users use internet in their Smartphones, and the internet is provided by cellular networks which is not free at all. However; ‘internet.org” is provided only for those areas where there is no availability of internet at all in which several areas in different countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, several African, Latin American countries etc. while ‘internet.org” will not be available on areas or countries where internet is already provided or available. Therefore, if you are in such areas where there is no availability of internet, then this service is very best for you.
It’s very obvious intention that if Facebook was thinking too much about those people where internet is not available or they can’t afford internet facility, then Facebook would definitely provide internet free in USA where it’s based. But, they have chosen to introduce this service in such a market where there is no coordinated gain of proper advertisement and not only providing their own website free but also several other associated websites along which can be useful and good prospect for those people who are entirely cut off from internet.
‘Internet.org” is currently providing 15 different websites totally free which are related to “Future and World of Knowledge”. On websites which relate to “Future” any user can find a desirable job while on websites which are related to ‘Education and Knowledge” any aspirant person can have access to useful educational materials and contents etc.
Whether this step of Facebook will yield constructive and productive return or not, it will be told by the right time to come; however; currently, this service seems quite beneficial for all those people who have no access to internet and they must take advantage of that.