Evgeny Morozov on “Facebook’s Gateway Drug”

“[T]he ‘Internet’ in ‘Internet.org’ is not a natural resource that looks and costs the same everywhere based on its inherent features. It is a result of complex, controversial policy decisions over the use and ownership of communication infrastructure. These decisions follow years of lobbying and clever manipulation of national and international bodies by telecom operators, and are a direct consequence of various privatization and liberalization reforms in those countries. Facebook, because of its own long-term interest in expanding its advertising reach in the developing world, can make that Internet more accessible. But to accept its bargain is to abandon the fight to create different institutional arrangements — say, to rein in the power of telecom operators and provide cheaper, more equitable services.” — from Morozov’s OpEd in The New York Times