What is Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ and why is it controversial?

What is Facebook's 'Free Basics' and why is it controversial?

In a move that may seem philanthropic Facebook has plans to bring its Free Basics internet service to the US. Free Basics is a plan to bring free but limited internet to rural and poorer areas. Facebook sees it as a way to be able to bring much-needed access to government and health services to low-income families. Facebook tried to bring this service to India, however the service was largely rejected because of what Facebook limited the service to.

Opponents see Free Basics as another way of Facebook trying to keep its users in their walled garden. Facebook has an alleged reputation of trying to keep its users on Facebook without going to other websites or apps. Since Facebook just happens to be one of the services offered in their Free Basics that fear may not be unjustified.

However, Facebook has almost become a public service with its safe notifications when natural disasters or major tragedies occur. In that maybe a limited internet is better than no internet at all.