This afternoon we came across multiple online sites (e.g. see boingboing.net and theworldwidetimes.net) calling us a Malaysian Think Tank. (We aren’t. We are registered in Sri Lanka).
More worrying though is that the article “summarizes” our findings into one headline – “Facebook’s zero rating programs doesn’t [sic] deliver anything except power for Facebook”.
The zero-rating debate has been one where all parties at the two extremes were prone to hyperbole and pithy statements. The reality is a lot more complex and what we (and our partners RIA who did similar studies in several African countries) attempted was to shed light on the complexities of access and use of the Internet. This is why we talked to real people across economic groups who use the product. For example, yes, the zero-rating by Facebook increases use of Facebook, but it also gives people information that is useful. Some leave Facebook and go to the “wider” internet, and all use zero-rated Facebook as a cost-mitigation strategy.
As the headline says, we love that people read our research. But we would love it more if they try to do justice to how real people use the Internet – after all, we interviewed plenty of them before writing our report.
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