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Net neutrality: campaign to deactivate FB account

'The fight for net neutrality in India is a fight for democracy in the modern age.'  

With the debate on net neutrality heating up in the country and the last date to reply to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issue coming up on April 24, online petitions have been floated to ensure the Internet is free for all.

One such petition floated by a start-up company called Smartprix.com has been asking Facebook users to deactivate their Facebook account for one day on April 24 so that a message is sent to the company that users are unhappy with the Facbook initiative of internet.org.

Abhinav Choudhary, the co-founder of Smartprix.com, who started the #FBBlackout says the petition that was started three days ago has received over 25,000 supporters with over 1.5 lakh people expected to join.

According to Abhinav, they received this response even though there was no publicity or effort to promote it.

Efforts made to promote the event through sponsorship on Facebook did not materialise as Facebook rejected it saying it was an improper use of “Facebook name”.

The campaign is designed to give a platform to voices against violations of net neutrality and for spreading awareness.

In reply to a question whether the campaign will actually cause any ripples in the Facebook India office, Abhinav said the aim of the campaign is to let Facebook officials know what people feel. The online petition on change.org has collected 2,90,000 signatures demanding net neutrality and will be submitting the petition to TRAI on Thursday before the deadline for public comments on TRAI’s consultation paper ends. The viral petition which was started by Kollam resident and net activist Sandeep Pillai has asked TRAI not to allow differential pricing of online services.

Fight for democracy

Sandeep says the fight for net neutrality in India is a fight for democracy in the modern age. “We cannot let the governments and the corporates decide what we can and cannot do on the Internet,” he said. He adds that the incredible support for his petition on Change.org is a reflection of how strongly the country feels about having open and fair access to the Internet.

TRAI has received one million responses on the consultation paper, and the issue has created one of the biggest Internet mobilisations in recent times.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:56:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/net-neutrality-campaign-to-deactivate-fb-account/article7131311.ece

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