Net Neutrality is an important principle: Zuckerberg
Speaking at the townhall session at IIT-Delhi, Mark Zuckerberg said that internet.org was a voice for people who did not have access to internet. He said that the people who were pushing for net neutrality were the ones who already had access to internet. He added that 4 billion people did not have access to internet and he wanted to connect all of them.
Facebook had started an initiative Internet.org with six companies-Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm on 20 August 2013. Its aim was to provide affordable internet services to less developed countries by increasing efficiency of internet access. Facebook was criticized for this initiative saying it violated the principles of net neutrality. A journalist accused Facebook of using India's poor for its own means.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the internet the same. It was against discriminating users on the basis of content or type of website. As of 2015, India had no laws to protect net neutrality. Service providers like Airtel, Aircel, Reliance and social networking site Facebook were in controversy over this issue in India.
The critics of Internet.org claimed that it was a slow poison. They said that it would cause lasting damage to innovation, competition and freedom. Facebook was accused of confusing thousands of people into thinking internet and Facebook were the same. It was said that the initiative wanted to take away the power of individuals to choose what they wanted to surf on the internet.
Mark Zuckerberg would host from a live audience at a townhall at IIT Delhi at the end of October. Facebook was facing criticism for its internet.org initiative from opposition leaders, government committees and internet users across the country. He was expected to answer questions related to controversy surrounding it. He would also meet with developers who were building new digital services.
Ahead of his Townhall at IIT Delhi, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited the Taj Mahal in Agra. He said that it was more stunning than he had expected and that he had always wanted to visit the monument. He added that it was incredible to see what love could inspire people to build. He was looking forward to the townhall on October 28.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would host a Q&A Townhall at IIT Delhi today. Questions would be taken from a gathering of 900 students. He was expected to speak for almost 15 minutes and then hold a question & answer session for about an hour. This India visit was significant for Zuckerberg as the country is home to over 135 million Facebook users.
Zuckeberg said he wanted to build better computers in the next 5-10 years which could understand language better. He joked about working on a solution to stop Candy Crush requests. He praised Facebook's safety check feature saying it helped to know that their loved ones were safe during calamities. He also talked about building new types of schools for the poor in Africa.