Facebook’s Vice President in charge of Internet.org, Chris Daniels will answer ‘any questions’ on the discussion website Reddit at 6 pm today.
The move comes in the wake of an uproar in social media in India over what many perceive as Facebook’s attempt to take over the Internet, especially in lower-income countries like India.
Daniels will primarily be taking questions about his company’s ‘Free Basics’ program, something that that many people on social media believe is an attempt by the social networking giant to extent its control outside its own websites and properties.
Free Basics is an ‘Internet-like’ network of websites and content, but Facebook has the ultimate right to decide who gets to be on it and who doesn’t.
Users of this version of the Internet are blocked from going to the websites of any company that does not agree to Facebook’s terms and conditions. Among the services that are blocked are Google — the world’s biggest search engine, and Naukri.com, India’s biggest jobs portal.
Facebook’s Free Basics is completely free of charge for the user, thus making it more attractive compared to the open Internet to many.
However, activists feel that the social media giant is giving the network free only as a tactical move and will recoup its investments through indirect means at a later date.
Many fear that Facebook will charge money from the websites for being featured on the ‘closed Internet’. They are already not allowed to put advertisements on the websites that they provide in the ‘Free Basics’ Internet service.
Many also fear that Facebook will use its powers of rejection against any competitor. Facebook competes with a variety of companies including Google, Microsoft, Twitter and so on.
The ‘Ask Me Anything’ interaction is scheduled to begin at 6 PM today, India Time, and has been organized with the help of Freecharge founder Kunal Shah.
According to Reddit, Chris Daniels has a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from Duke University. Prior to working as the Vice President, Product of Internet.Org he has worked at various positions at Facebook, Microsoft, Applied Semantics, Inc., OneWest.net and Lehman Brothers.
You can watch and participate in the discussion by clicking here.
Also read why Facebook’s campaign on Free Basics is fundamentally flawed in its methodology and take part in our NET NEUTRALITY POLL.