Though India's independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook's "Free Basics" -- which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook's chosen services from the carriers' punishing data-caps -- the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world.
One important critique of Free Basics is that it's a form of colonialism, something that some Free Basics advocates acknowledge. For example, investor Mark Andreessen criticized the opposition to Free Basics: "Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades Why stop now?" (Andreesen later apologized and deleted the tweet).
Deepika Bahri, an English professor at Emory University who focuses on postcolonial studies, summed up the argument for Facebook as neocolonial in six cogent points:
1. ride in like the savior
2. bandy about words like equality, democracy, basic rights
3. mask the long-term profit motive (see 2 above)
4. justify the logic of partial dissemination as better than nothing
5. partner with local elites and vested interests
6. accuse the critics of ingratitude
Facebook and the New Colonialism
[Adrienne Lafrance/The Atlantic]
(via Memex 1.1)
(Image: Reliance-Internet.org Commercial)
I've written about Up & Go before: that's the worker-owned co-op of home cleaners in New York City that has built a version of the on-demand economy that keeps the convenience but jettisons the predatory capitalists, and as a result, is able to pay its workers $25/hour.
The popular fried chicken sandwich fast food chain Chick-fil-A has long been targeted by pro-human-rights groups for aligning with hate and homophobia.
“Yet another delay” in the Trump administration’s threatened U.S. ban on China’s Huawei technologies, Colin Lecher reports at The Verge.
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