What Happened to Mark Zuckerberg’s Much Talked Vision of Global Internet?

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It’s been five years since Mark Zuckerberg initiated his dauntless and seemingly no-win vision of the Global Internet. As of now, it doesn’t look like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) mooring the plan, and hence is resorting to surmise its ambition. Facebook Internet.org was aforethought to ensure that everybody can hop online.

Intended as a call for action, the 10-page white paper revealed strategies of how Facebook is going to help get people online. Zuckerberg’s arguments surfaced the idea that humans should be entitled to basic internet service. Data was, according to him, basic human right like food and water. However, his vision of connecting the whole world, required people getting data and this required powerful players to conglomerate.

The story of Facebook’s leadoff has been one of rapid growth, from a square side project to a global web-service platform with 1.35 billion users in the first decade itself. If it were a country, it would be the second most populous in the world. But it’s not sufficient for Zuckerberg.

It was quite an audacious proposal for the founder of Facebook Inc. to make. Hazy and worked up with his own ahead-of-time, outsize success, Zuckerberg couldn’t probably grasp the immense responsibility it’s taking up. For doing something, probably anything, with his accumulated power shows that he has not yet been humbled by the series of failures that’s been trailing him for long now.

An “Ivory-tower” World Plan

A collaborative effort, the project was parted in two halves. For people who could access the Internet but weren’t connected, the company would strike deals so that few web-services could be available for free. For those people who were beyond the reach of web services, innovative technological measures would be made to introduce lasers and drones. A blatant display of humanitarian effort, Mark Zuckerberg suggested that it’s driven by a moral imperative rather than financial one.

Connecting the entire world could never be piece of cake unless everybody in the world was on the Internet. So Zuckerberg bared his plan of making sure everybody is aboard, wired over the net.

“If the first decade was starting the process of connecting the world, the next decade is helping connect the people who are not yet connected and watching what happens.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Free Basics – Flash In the Pan:

Free Basics was devised as an app that constitutes several other small sets of apps. This provision granted access to a handful of web-services, the prominent one being Facebook.

However, this landed Facebook in trouble when a research by Global Voices claimed that the app primarily served the needs of Facebook and other corporations as a part of proper profit generating strategy. It also alleged that Facebook was compromising user experience to achieve business objectives.

Again, given the fact that Facebook is made up of people, it is perennially in need of more of them. To ensure that this Social-media giant grows, it needs to increase periphery of its survival as well – Here, The Internet. This Silicon Valley Billionaire hopes to integrate everybody into a vast homogeneity of potential data consumers. No matter how much it keeps meddling a rosary of being humanitarian, this campaign is self-serving, profit-making strategy.

Furthermore, Facebook’s arrogance landed it in a soup when it blindly barged into areas and resorting to apologies after major blunders. Facebook felt a major blow when TRAI banned the social-media company’s plan to offer free access to a limited number of websites in India. The reason being that it violated net neutrality norms. Endorsed fully by the Tim Berners Lee, Free Basics became an invalid product in India.

While Zuckerberg didn’t mark his presence, Facebook had a smaller ubiety at this year’s Mobile World Congress, which was held in February 2018. Enormous lobbying by Facebook for Internet.Org could not stop its downfall. Now, this can be classified as a prime example of Facebook wherein, reluctant to learn, it falls between rock and a hard place.


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