Millions of Facebook users have no idea theyâ€™re using the internet
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Facebook is â€śoften the only accessible application,â€ť as Orriss puts it, but thatâ€™s because Facebookâ€”which did not respondÂ to requests to comment on this storyâ€”has worked to ensure that it is the easiestÂ and cheapest to access.Â The companyÂ backsÂ internet.org, an initiative to â€śbring the Internet to the two thirds of the worldâ€™s population that doesnâ€™t have it.â€ť Yet internet.orgâ€™s showpiece, an app nowÂ available in nearly half a dozen countries, provides freeÂ access only to Facebook, Facebook messenger, andÂ a handful of other servicesÂ (the precise lineup varies by country).
Most of these other servicesÂ are well-meaning and related to development: Womenâ€™s rights. Jobs. Maternal-health information. An Ebola FAQ. The only concessions to the wider web are Wikipedia and Google search. But clicking through on a Google search resultÂ requires a data planâ€”and that must be paid for by the user.Â