Internet.Org: a lie in name and in intent

This Facebook effort is neither about the Internet, and nor is it a “.org” – the traditional domain for a not-for-profit.

It’s just about acquiring folks from the bottom of the pyramid as Facebook users. So Facebook can, over time, get that $8.65 more for each of them, while at the same time making sure that Google doesn’t get their $46 from each of them.

I’m no apologist for Google – but it’s interesting that the world’s gateway to the internet doesn’t feature in 10 of the 11 countries this Facebook effort runs in. And in the 11th, it runs in a way the user can search Google from within the free-data service – but has to pay for data to see the search results. Quite pointless, really.

But it’s not just Google. There’s no Alibaba, there’s no Amazon, there’s no eBay. No place these folks can buy, or sell or trade. There’s no Kiva or other bottom-of-pyramid money service. No loans they can receive. No government sites, no banks. No Coursera or EdX or Khan Academy – so it’s not about education either. Forget about entertainment – there’s absolutely none of that. And no LinkedIn, of course. You name any possible site of importance to someone who needs information and opportunities, and it’s not there. But, hey, I guess they you can always poke folks in the next village!

 

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