Facebook’s battle, media’s gain

IN Media Watch Briefs | 25/12/2015

Facebook is advertising aggressively after TRAI has asked for its Free Basics to be put on hold, and the newspapers are raking it in. TRAI has asked Reliance Communications, Facebook’s telecom partner in India,  to stop offering Free Basics until it can determine whether it conforms to Net Neutrality, the TOI reported earlier this week. Ever since Facebook has unleashed an advertising blast, two full pages a day in several newspapers, dishing out facts and figures defending Free Basics.   

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The new term for self censorship is voluntary censorship, as proposed by companies like Netflix and Hotstar. ET reports that streaming video service Amazon Prime is opposing a move by its peers to adopt a voluntary censorship code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules. Amazon is resisting because it fears that it may alienate paying subscribers.                   

Clearly, the run to the 2019 elections is on. A journalist received a call from someone saying they were from Aajtak channel and were conducting a survey, asking whom she was going to vote for in 2019. On being told that her vote was secret, the caller assumed she wasn't going to vote for 'Modiji'. The caller, a woman, also didn't identify herself. A month or two earlier the same journalist received a call, this time from a man, asking if she was going to vote for the BSP.                 

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