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An Apology To Our Members & A Request To Facebook From The Logical Indian

The Logical Indian

September 29th, 2015

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Image Courtesy: bloggingrepublic

Yesterday, we posted an article titled “Why We Support Modi’s Digital India and Not Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.Org” . We still stand by it but at the same time , we apologize to our community members for publishing a news that was not factually correct. We failed to convey the matter in the way it should have been which lead to a confusion among many of our community members.

Let’s have a look at the sequence of events in the past two days which would help you gain a clear understanding of the event-

• MARK ZUCKERBERG EXTENDS SUPPORT TO ‘DIGITAL INDIA’ INITIATIVE

On 27th September, Facebook introduced a feature which allowed users to change DPs in support of Digital India. Millions of Indians, along with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg & Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, changed their profile pictures in support of Digital India.

 

•  THE BEGINNING OF THE CONTROVERSY

Controversy erupted when the source code of the changed DP revealed the class name “_internetOrgProfilePicture__prideAvatar”. It looked suspicious as Internet.org is already under controversy and is not being encouraged much by government of India and various Internet Influencers. It became even more suspicious as recently Facebook submitted 17 Lakh signatures to TRAI( Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India) showing support for it’s Internet.org. As per various reports, these signatures are believed to be the result of a poll conducted by Facebook which is also referred as “Cant Say No Polls” by critiques. ( A screenshot of the same is attached below)fb-question

 

• MISREPORTING BY NEWS OUTLETS

The change in class name looked as an endorsement of internet.org and  this was misreported by several news outlets as “Facebook will use your changed DP to show your support for it’s internet.org initiative.”  At The Logical Indian, we also failed to convey the news in a proper manner and we sincerely apologize for the same.

• CLARIFICATION BY FACEBOOK

As per  a report published on Huffpost India last night, a Facebook spokesperson told HuffPost India that there was no connection between the tricolor DP and Internet.org. “There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and Internet.org. An engineer mistakenly used the words “Internet.org profile picture” as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion.”

We also updated our community members about this clarification late last night.

 

• RISE OF ARGUMENTS

Many took it to social media to express their disagreement with the anonymous clarification. Arguments aroused – It cannot be a mere mistake which has been overlooked as there are multiple levels of checks esp in organizations such as Facebook.  The question which still leaves a space for suspicion is that the class names could have been any random name than “internet.org”! Internet.org never had any profile picture campaign so far, so the class internet.org cannot be a mistake, various arguments said.

Till now we have observed only two profile picture campaigns by Facebook in favour of  LGBT and Digital India.

 

• OFFICIAL CLARIFICATION AWAITED [Updated]

Facebook responded to our request. Michael Buckley, VP, Global Business Communications- Facebook clarified- “There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and registering support for Internet.org. An engineer mistakenly used the words “Internet.org profile picture” as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion.”

At this time, no one can be sure of what is actually happening. Till now there has not been any official briefing from Facebook on the issue. The Logical Indian community requests Facebook to come upfront and issue an official statement on the same which would clear the air further.

We once again apologize for our mistake in reporting the news. We appreciate the way Facebook has democratized the whole internet space, If Facebook wouldn’t have been there, The Logical Indian community wouldn’t have existed. We thank our community members for providing us with a strong feedback. Your feedback makes the community better. We support Facebook’s social initiatives whole heartedly. We also proudly support our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India Vision. Things have already started changing and we are hopeful to see massive changes in the upcoming years.

Yes, it’s always good to raise your voice and not to accept things blindly. After considerable protest against internet.org in India, Facebook has now re-branded internet.org as “Free Basics”. We are very much concerned about the issue of #NetNeutrality. We are coming up with a detailed post explaining our concerns regarding internet.org, soon.

 

Update On 30 September 2015

We got an official response from Facebook which stated:

“There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and registering support for Internet.org. An engineer mistakenly used the words “Internet.org profile picture” as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion.”
Michael Buckley, VP, Global Business Communications- Facebook

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