Facebook's "Free Basics" and colonialism: an argument in six devastating points

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“Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades Why stop now?”

Does Andreessen make sure he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about before he opens his mouth these days? Because there seems to be a lot of nonsense coming from his direction.


Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Center for Civil Media, told me. “It tries to solve a problem it doesn’t understand … [and] conveniently helps lock in Facebook as the dominant platform for the future at a moment when growth in developed markets is slowing.”

The argument is relevant wherever FB is busily commodifying shared baby photos for shareholder profit using taxpayer-subsidized tech.


"1. ride in like the savior "
ad hominem attack not exactly cogent

“2. bandy about words like equality, democracy, basic rights”
not cogent without some backing just implied ad hominem.

“3. mask the long-term profit motive (see 2 above)”
Is it really masked? they want profits

“4. justify the logic of partial dissemination as better than nothing”
respond how partial dissemination isn’t better than nothing otherwise this isn’t cogent. (I believe in this instance partial dissemination is worse than nothing but… hey explain it)

“5. partner with local elites and vested interests”
As opposed to partnering with local failures and uninterested parties?

“6. accuse the critics of ingratitude”
Finally a cogent point.


So wait… you’re saying it’s NOT colonialist?


That’s not an ad hominem. That’s just direct criticism.


I believe he said this argument is weak sauce and they should come up with a better one.

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My friends in and from India are all opposed to Facebook’s Free Basics and the two tier internet classes it creates. Facebook masquerades this as an altruistic service, “but we are giving people something for free”, when really they are locking out competing services and making back room deals that deincentivise and in many cases block lower tier open services, public internet initiatives, and force people into their services so they can monetize them. Basically is is a bunch of shady back room deals to ensure that free or low cost services are blocked and that the masses are locked into using their products and services without any real voice or options to affect change in regards to this.

Anyone for net neutrality should be appalled by this sort of vulturing off of poorer market segments. The internet isn’t just for the wealthy, the digital divide is a real thing, and Facebook has been building a trump style border fence to keep all the people from crossing to the other side of the digital divide.

that’s my two cents.


He now carries a slip of paper with “check your privilege” written on it, to glance at before remarking on anything.


Here’s one of them ‘ad-hominem’ rascals:


Yes and the “giving people something for free” is the key sales-pitch-disguised-as-factual-argument. If FB had to reimburse voters for its internet use, there would be no FB. And people could still use the internet to share photos.


Wow, Anderssen sounds as stupid and condescendingly stupid as any of the H1B Visa CEOs lecturing stupid American workers how they should be grateful foreign rich people will push them out of their jobs. Oh yes, the Indian 1% have learned to play the colonialist game well. Too bad we don’t have a government that calls them out.


This is not just the ploy of fb in free basics, but in it’s net business model. the entire machine is set up to mine the data of all users and sell it. nothing fb produces is good for humanity. it’s an evil, fucked up company, and one can only hope it will someday collapse. i sanitized my fb profile long ago. it only contains my name, and a picture of a plant. i curse anyone and everyone who tags me in a picture, or tries to force me to use it for basic communication. drones! all of them!


The list is merely a summation of the actual arguments.


Wow I can’t believe I only noticed now that they picked a name whose initials fit their brand. That’s… Kind of clever, if ominous in its euphemistic elision of free access to the Internet with Facebook

When you’re right, your right. And you’re right. :smiley_cat:

Hopefully of cute cats

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Driving to utopian non-proprietary internet …

Oh, no!!! :smiley_cat:


The arguments against colonialism on the Left sure resemble the arguments against immigration on the Right. “Those foreigners are invading and underselling Our People!”

That makes no sense at all.