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The Top 10 Facts About Free Basics

  • There are other successful models (this, this, this) for providing free Internet access to people, without giving a competitive advantage to Facebook. Free Basics is the worst of our options.
  • Facebook doesn’t pay for Free Basics, telecom operators do. Where do they make money from? From users who pay. By encouraging people to choose Free Basics, Facebook reduces the propensity to bring down data costs for paid Internet access.
  • Free Basics isn’t about bringing people online. It’s about keeping Facebook and its partners free, while everything else remains paid. Users who pay for Internet access can still access Free Basics for free, giving Facebook and its partners an advantage. Free Basics is a violation of Net Neutrality
  • Internet access is growing rapidly in India. We’ve added 100 million users in 2015. Almost all the connections added in India the last 1 year are NOT because of Free Basics.
  • Free Basics is not an open platform. Facebook defines the technical guidelines for Free Basics, and reserves the right to change them. They reserve the right to reject applicants, who are forced to comply with Facebook’s terms. In contrast they support ‘permission less innovation’ in the US.
  • The only source of info on Facebook’s Free Basics is Facebook, and it misleads people. Facebook was criticised in Brazil for misleading advertising. (source) Their communication in India is misleading. People find the “Free” part of Free Basics advertising from Facebook (or FreeNet free Internet) from Reliance misleading. (source)
  • Facebook gets access to all the usage data and usage patterns of all the sites on Free Basics. No website which wants to compete with Facebook will partner with them because it will have to give them user data. Facebook gives data to the NSA (source) and this is a security issue for India.
  • Research has shown that people prefer to use the open web for a shorter duration over a limited set of sites for a longer duration. (source)
  • Facebook says that Free Basics doesn’t have ads, but does not say that it will never have ads on Free Basics.
  • Facebook has shown people as saying that they support Free Basics when they haven’t. They may claim 3.2 million in support, but how many of those mails are legitimate?

How you can help

  • Click here to ask the TRAI to investigate Facebook’s submissions for authenticity.
  • Click here to send an email to TRAI in support of Net Neutrality
  • Click here to mail your MP to support Net Neutrality.

*This document is  prepared by “”



Naveen is SEO Expert by Profession and A blogger by hobby, who writes on various topics like Tech, SEO, Blogging, Life style, Business and a lot more.


Facebook initiates blitzkrieg ad campaign for Free Basics in India ahead of Dec. 31 deadline



Facebook Free basics

Facebook has started campaigning for its Free Basics platform in India in a big way, even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked its sole telecom partner Reliance Communications to stop the service for the moment. The advertising blitzkrieg by Facebook spanning text messages, hoardings, double spread ads in newspapers and television ad spots has rekindled the battle between net neutrality activists and Facebook.

The reason for this is a new measure by TRAI, inviting comments on a consultation paper on net neutrality until Dec. 31. In its public debate, TRAI is asking for recommendations on whether a telecom operator should be allowed to have differential pricing for different websites, apps and platforms. According to a report, Reliance still hasn’t complied with TRAI’s order and Free Basics continues to be available to its subscribers on its website.

In response, Facebook started its “Save Free Basics” campaign, prompting users to email TRAI in support of the Free Basics platform last week, through Facebook notifications as well as text messages. It has also launched a large-scale advertising campaign in India, using hoardings, newspaper ads, and television ads. Net neutrality activists have questioned Facebook’s motives behind these expenses over a seemingly non-profit venture.

On Monday, Facebook even asked users in the US to support Free Basics in India, but later said it was “accidental.” “We mistakenly turned on this notification for some people outside India on Monday night for a short period of time,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We fixed the issue as soon as we caught it.”

In its full-page newspaper ads, Facebook has claimed that 3.2 million people have sent petitions in support of Free Basics in India. However, activists question the legitimacy of this figure, with reports of users being shown as supporting the platform even when they hadn’t signed the petition and cases where dead people were shown as having signed the petition.

Previously known as, Facebook’s Free Basics platform claims to offer free Internet services to Reliance’s subscribers in India, which is its second-largest user base after the US. However, it has been criticised for being against net neutrality as it acts as a gatekeeper that decides which services can be offered via the platform.

Net neutrality activists in India have revived the “Save the Internet” campaign started earier this year, and are inviting internet users to send pro-net neutrality petitions to TRAI and their MPs. According to a Twitter account keeping track of the emails sent through the website, approximately 9,000 petitions have been sent in favour of net neutrality till now.
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