Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do we even know what exactly we are voting for???



      Over the last few months I have seen numerous debates among netizens over the issue of Net neutrality, So I ignored it as just another issues of numerous Digital India plan, People always have different views or opinions about anything or everything that is new.

     But since last few days I have been receiving regular notifications from Facebook about how my friends have voted in support of Free Basic and how I had not and that I should, making me feeling guilty about it. Facebook is urging Indians to send an email to TRAI in support of Free Basic Program by giving a Pre-filled form in our notification sections which is titled "Act Now To Save Free Basic In India", which some would say as unethical way of getting votes. Free basic is aimed at providing free basic internet facilities to the common Indian rural public, Good Idea, isn't it? but turns out it is an incomplete picture, while Facebook says we won't be charged anything for these basic internet facilities, it means for some selected sites that Facebook has approved there won't be any charges but for all other sites the charges could be doubled or tripled as telecom companies would want to recover their investments. No wonder there are some, who are openly opposing these idea.

Turns out they are both same.

     People opposing these ideas want net neutrality, where all internet sites are accessible without any favoring or blocking of any site or product which in the case of Facebook's Free basic could be compromised as Facebook will only give access to the sites that it has approved, while if we want other sites we would have to pay extra. This means any new budding business wanting to promote itself would have to bend itself in front of Facebook. 
    The arguments put forth by Net neutrality supporters are, Instead of free basic sites why don't Facebook make it free limited amount of data for each month, keeping all internet sites equally accessible. This makes more of a sense but at the end of the day, it is the consumer who has to make the right use of services instead of misuses for his own benefits.

    As TRAI has requested public response for its final verdict, Facebook has started getting the votes smartly using its consumer's habit of following everything that is free or trending, In this case both. Just like people colored their DP's in support of Paris, gay rights or other similar stuffs by click of button, they began sending notifications and getting peopled signed up and then forwarding it to theirs friend list, creating a trend. Some people would have signed up because of free internet to poor, but Most of others, because everybody else is doing.

   Such is the control of social media over us, that it can change opinions, create ones that is beneficial to them by just a click, exploring the sentimental and sometimes greedy human emotions to its advantage.

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