Facebook opens up Internet.org amidst net neutrality row

Unattributed, BBC News, May 04, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Opposition to the internet.org business model from around the world (including these pages) has forced Facebook to open up a bit. The original plan was to create a service that would offer only Facebopok, Wikipedia, and a couple other providers. Now the plan is to allow more providers. "Although these terms will continue to restrict membership, Mr Zuckerberg said that people should not prevent others from using the internet in order to defend an 'extreme definition of net neutrality'." I personally don't think it's "extreme" to object when a service is offered that provides access to Facebook but not to OLDaily.People like me will never be able to afford to 'pay to play'. That's why the plan is objectionable.

Also, 'Part B' on Facebook's plan is now beginning to roll out as it begins to test its system to act as a host for articles published by (among others) Buzzfeed and the New York Times. "Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems," writes the Times, forgetting that the 'ecosystem' is the Internet, not the NY Times website. The move has stirred up quite a bit of debate, including the suggestion that these articles would be favoured in Facebook's algorithm. To entice them, Facebook is allowing publishers to keep all the revenue from advertisements (presumably a measure that would end once lock-in was achieved).

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