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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerb erg Backs Net Neutrality And “Free Basics

NEW DELHI – Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said he supported net neutrality “100%”, but added that he also strongly backed zero rating.

Facebook’s initiative, Internet.org, rebranded as ‘Free Basics’ a couple of months ago, has generated much debate on the subject. The service, delivered in collaboration with telecom operators, allows access to online content on “basics” such as health, education and employment and subscribers aren’t charged for the data used.

Activists argue that such “zero rating” plans go against the principle of net neutrality. But Zuckerberg believes that’s “going too far”.

Answering a question put to him at Facebook’s first Town Hall Q&A in India, held at IIT, Delhi, he said: “Net neutrality is a very important principle and we do a lot to support it in terms of pushing for regulation. This debate [exists] because countries are going around trying to figure out what their regulation should be.”

He said it was important to consider “where it hurts people” while framing regulations. “If you’re trying to watch videos on YouTube or Netflix and the operator wants to charge, that hurts people. But it is also possible to take this too far.”

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