In February 2016, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India ruled that Facebook's plan to introduce a free service to underprivileged Indians via a partnership with one mobile company and a handful of commercial application services violated network neutrality, the principal that digital services should not favor one source of content over another. So ‘Free Basics,’ as Facebook had re-dubbed its ostensibly philanthropic effort ‘Internet.org,’ died quickly in a power struggle among a powerful American social media company, resentful Indian technology developers, overwhelmed regulators, sensitive nationalistic politicians, highly organized public interest activists, and rival mobile service providers. It was a remarkable tale of ideological hubris on ...
The Incomplete Political Economy of Social Media
The incomplete political economy of social media