FB is ‘accidentally’ asking US users to support Free Basics in India
After rolling out a rather misleading campaign asking users to support its controversial Free Basics program in India last week, Facebook is “accidentally” asking users outside the country for their support as well.
After rolling out a rather misleading campaign asking users to support its controversial Free Basics program in India last week, Facebook is "accidentally" asking users outside the country for their support as well.
Facebook's campaign, which sends notifications encouraging users to "send a message to TRAI [Telecom Regulatory Authority of India] to support digital equality", comes ahead of a public hearing on net neutrality in the country next month. With one click, Indian Facebook users can send a pre-written email to the TRAI with the subject "I Support Free Basics in India."
A Facebook spokesperson told technology news website Recode that getting the notification to support Free Basics to users outside India wasn't intentional.
"We accidentally turned on this notification for some people outside India this evening for a short period of time — it's been on for English-speakers in India for several days now," Facebook's statement said.
Facebook is pulling out all stops to garner support for Free Basics in India. It has been running an SMS campaign asking users to give a missed call to a toll-free number if they back Free Basics.
And now, Facebook is running an SMS spam campaign for Free Basics in India. FB employees, where's your conscience? pic.twitter.com/YUyR0PhooU— Kiran Jonnalagadda (@jackerhack) December 22, 2015
It has also been running full-page newspaper ads urging people to "Support a Connected India."