That Quartz piece sure has legs.
Ask Helani Galpaya, a researcher with policy think tank LIRNEasia, who in 2012 came across a curious anomaly while researching “bottom of pyramid” telephone users in Indonesia. When asked questions about the Internet, most of the respondents said they didn’t use it. But when asked about Facebook, most of them said they used it often.
“In their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook,” concluded Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia’s head.
This isn’t specific to Indonesia alone, as Christoph Stork, a researcher with Research ICT Africa would find out too. Stork was flummoxed when he saw that more Africans were saying they had used Facebook than they had the Internet, a statistical impossibility.
And that is exactly what Internet.org is – Zuckerberg’s ambitious project to confuse hundreds of millions of emerging market users into thinking that Facebook and the Internet are one and the same.