As a for-profit company, what Facebook is doing seems legit and makes total sense.
What is crazy here, is that big corporation are filling the internet gap, created by States that are not developing internet infrastructure as they should. This creates high risk for internet neutrality:
Wikipedia is available (thank god), but YouTube or Google Search needs a paying data plan.
I'm not sure what are Google plans with Loon, but I would assume that Google needs the whole web to be accessible, which is not necessarily true for FB.
On the upside, as giants like FB and Google gets bigger and more monopolistic, the expectations are changing. Let's hope that it opens us a bit more the borders...
So when the poor, who in theory can’t afford a net connection come to the Facebook Zero service confusingly called Internet.org, they’re made to believe they’re on the internet while in reality they’re only on Facebook and a few hand-picked sites.
And the sites too are picked in secret under some unknown process... Facebook chose to offer the distant-second search engine Bing instead of industry-leading Google... And then Facebook’s Zero product features a tiny job site like Babajob instead of the industry-leading Naukri... Facebook doesn’t feature YouTube—the largest video site in the world and an immense education resource —but allows its own videos in full. It doesn’t really look like charity any more, does it?
Indian journalist Nikhil Pahwa has responded... pointing out research after research that shows zero services around the world universally tend to do badly for the people who use them. It all seems to amount to economic racism—exploiting the poor in under-developed parts of the world to become your customers under the guise of some apparent charitable purpose. While offering them a shoddy, stunted version of the real thing. As Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of payments app PayTM, puts it: “It’s poor internet for poor people”.