Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

Submission Preview

Link to Story

Facebook moves in to make the web a facebook monopoly

Accepted submission by bitstream at 2016-03-17 11:40:54
Digital Liberty

There's a a growing trend to close of publishing platforms by demanding a login in order to view the content. Which is a move away from a open web []. In December 2015 Facebook launched its own in-app browser [], which is basically a web-view that loads links you tap on using the Facebook app. It may provide convenience for some but the primary goal is to keep users inside the application longer. This opens up for more advertising exposure and associated revenue. This poses a challenge to the open web because this overrides the user's default mobile browser keeps the eyeballs in a closed ecosystem. The feature Instant Articles for publishers is done such that it loads articles available nearly instantly in the app compared to a mobile browser. This opens up for monetizing viewing and privacy invasions by Facebook on users. The in-app browser lack decent privacy controls.

Facebook is trying to accomplish a closed version of the internet. The Free Basics initiative with Facebook as the gatekeeper offers users free access to select websites. This initiative made privacy advocates in India, to play an instrumental role in making the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to vote on 2016-02-08 that all data pricing must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content []. The decision favours net neutrality and essentially bans Facebook's initiative in that country. The Indian TRAI ruling states that pricing must be content agnostic []. Facebook has become a monolith platform that tries to mimic existing services by offering video uploads (YouTube), money transfers (PayPal) etc. Facebook is expanding like a invasive species similar to the Borgs [] from Star Trek trying to absorb everything that touches their sphere of interest. In the future refusal to join will be futile, because you will miss out essential information?

Original Submission