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Facebook now 0.1% less Orwellian

We should be grateful that Facebook has renamed its Internet access service from Internet.org to Free Basics by Facebook. The idea is that if you’re in the developing world, you’ll get access to the “Internet” which is really access to Facebook and all that it permits.

Calling that arrangement “Internet.org” was as Orwellian as marketing gets, like advertising Snickers as a “lunch bar.” No no no. A Snickers bar may be delicious, and may even give you enough of a burst of energy that for the final fifteen seconds of your Powerpoint presentation at the weekly status meeting you have an overbearing confidence that alienates your boss’s boss who happens to have dropped by, dooming your long-term prospects at that company, but it is not lunch. It lacks all the essential properties of lunch, even if you may at some point eat one because you forgot your lunch and your wallet and have no friends who will share with you.

The Facebook service is to the Internet as Snickers is to lunch: a poor replacement that lacks all of the essential elements that make a lunch a lunch and the Internet the Internet.

The new name has the advantage of sounding like an hypoallergenic mascara that’s hired Christie Brinkley as its spokesmodel.

One Response to “Facebook now 0.1% less Orwellian”

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