Facebook-Trai tussle: Facebook misleading Indians, spends Rs 300 crore on Free Basics ads
For the last several weeks Facebook has been publishing full page advertisements in mass circulated dailies across the country. The social networking giant has been trying to force Save Free Basics Campaign down the throats of the people in the country by not just the mass advertisement campaign but also prompting people to send mails to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
Now the telecom regulatory authority in India has said that what Facebook is doing will set a dangerous precedent.
There is no denying the fact that when it comes to internet there should be a level playing field. But Facebook launched Free Basics Campaign will ensure that just a few top companies are able to rule the internet.
The good thing is the fact that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has woken up against the threat and is trying to fight Facebook on this front. Now Trai has published a letter signed by K V Sebastian, Joint Advisor, Trai, written to Ankhi Das, Director Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia, Facebook.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indiaâ€™s letter claims that Facebook is misleading its users with its Save Free Basics Campaign; that the responses sent by Facebook are not relevant to the questions being raised; and further writes, “your urging has the flavour of reducing this meaningful consultative exercise designed to produce informed decisions in a transparent manner into a crudely majoritarian and orchestrated opinion poll.”
If reports are to be believed, the social networking giant has spent a staggering sum of Rs. 300 crores on Free Basics ads in India. Besides the tech giant also used its social network to urge users to send a template-response to Trai’s net neutrality paper. The result was a record 2.4 million submissions, the most that Trai has ever received. Facebook however claimed that it has sent 11 million responses, which Trai disputed.