Facebook’s Internet.org effort hits India hurdle


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
New Delhi, India

A series of Indian media and technology groups have walked away from Internet.org, the Facebook-backed initiative to help more people in the developing world get online, in a battle over net neutrality that is set to damage founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pet project. Cleartrip, a prominent travel e-commerce group, became the latest to pull out, joining news channel NDTV and Newshunt, a media start-up. The Times of India group, which publishes the country’s most-read English-language newspaper, has also pulled some of its services from the coalition. The moves intensify a battle in India over net neutrality. Internet.org provides free access to some but not all types of online information, raising the ire of those who say all content should be treated equally. The row over Facebook’s project follows a decision earlier this week by Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce group by revenue, to withdraw from an app provided by Airtel, the top-ranked mobile operator by users, citing similar concerns.

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