Facebook Looks to Cronyism Its Way Out of Its Cronyism
Not Very Appealing
Okay, admittedly, this is just a little bit driven by schadenfreude:
“A feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.”
In which I do not ordinarily engage - unless the trouble someone is suffering is a result of their own actions. We should have zero sympathy for self-inflicted wounds.
And we should absolutely have zero sympathy for someone suffering the pain they championed for others. Which is what’s known as being hoisted on your own petard:
“Injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others.”
For Internet giant Facebook, that device - designed to injure others, now injuring them - is Network Neutrality.
“Network Neutrality is a unilateral and completely unnecessary government-intrusion-and-imposition on the entirety of the Internet - and the trillions-of-dollars-economy that has arisen around it….
“(Net Neutrality) is outstanding for Netflix - and other high-traffic sites like Google-owned YouTube. Netflix and YouTube all by themselves chew up more than half of all U.S. bandwidth. Net Neutrality outlaws their being charged for so doing. Which means Grandma (and the rest of us) pay even higher ISP rates - to subsidize the profits of Netflix and Google….
Of course, Facebook is another giant bandwidth hog. And Facebook championed Net Neutrality. Ever since, one would think Facebook, and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, should be seriously regretting it. Late last year:
“(Facebook is) trying to do a very good thing - get (tens of) millions of people in India (and beyond) free Internet access.
“Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ is an ambitious, noble project. Barely 20% of India’s 1.3 billion people have Internet access. (Tens, hundreds of) millions more - for free (my favorite four-letter word) - would be outstanding.
“But it turns Facebook from an ISP user - into an ISP. Which, ironically, unleashes their former Net Neutrality fantasist cohorts - on them.
“Why There’s Nothing to Like About Free Basics: Mark Zuckerberg is watching out for his interests. Internet users should watch out for theirs.
“But 80% of Indians aren't Internet users - because they don’t have access. Wouldn’t Zuckerberg trying to rectify that be in their interest?
“‘Irrelevant’ say the pro-Net Neutrality fantasists. So they are working to stop Zuckerberg from providing a billion Indians free Internet - to instead keep them marooned, Internet-free. It is for them far more important that their Net Neutrality Fantasy remain undisturbed.
“Facebook's Free Basics Isn't Good for India: More than 330,000 people signed a petition to oppose zero-rating and uphold net neutrality principles in the country and numerous Web and media companies dropped off Facebook’s offering in support of the initiative.
“330,000 petition signers - versus a nation of 1.3 billion people. Not exactly overwhelming opposition. And that petition is - online. Which means these vituperative, interloping clowns already have Internet access - and are using said access to actively prevent a billion Indians from joining them online.”
And these vituperative, interloping clowns - won.
The ridiculous government policy that is Net Neutrality triumphed. Over rationality, economics - and Internet access for potentially billions of people. Hooray.
Facebook now wants to bring Free Basics to the United States. Except - thanks to Facebook and their fellow cronies - we last year imposed Net Neutrality. So the notion is greeted with:
Facebook Plays US Political Game To Skirt Net Neutrality With Free Basic Internet: “Facebook is at it again. Using its political contacts in Washington, the social media giant is trying to skirt the rules of Net Neutrality by trying to provide Free Basic internet connection….
“Facebook has been in talks with U.S. politicians for months to allow them to essentially violate Net Neutrality without incurring the consequences of doing so. The information came from sources that are familiar with the matter.”
If Facebook succeeds, it would be an all-time harmonic convergence of cronyism. Cronyism - full circle.
Cronyism for Facebook, Google and Netflix is what gave us uber-inane Net Neutrality in the first place.
Now Facebook is trying to use cronyism - to get out from under uber-inane Net Neutrality.
Ridiculous regulations written to warp the private sector to appease cronies - now about to be warped to appease cronies?
Because this is America. Where we’re out of all flavors of republic - save banana.
This first appeared in Red State.