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Facebook's "Free Basics" and Implications for Development: IT Identity and Social Capital

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Title: Facebook's "Free Basics" and Implications for Development: IT Identity and Social Capital
Authors: Yim, Moonjung
Gomez, Ricardo
Carter, Michelle
Keywords: Free Basics
IT identity
social capital
Issue Date: 04 Jan 2017
Abstract: Facebook's Free Basics has been controversial among researchers in the fields of information and communication technologies for development (ICTD) and community informatics (CI). What is the nature of Free Basics' potential contribution to individual and community development? We explore this question by analyzing different uses of Facebook—one of the forefront services provided through Free Basics—and their relation to information technology (IT) identity and social capital. We find that, while issues and concerns surrounding Free Basics exist—e.g. restrictions on participants' choices in accessing and using information, possible privacy risks, and potential societal costs—there is room for positive aspects in broader use of Facebook, despite its potential pitfalls. We suggest ways to analyze both the contradictions and contributions of Free Basics to individual and community development, and examine implications for ICTD and sustainable development in general.
Pages/Duration: 10 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9981331-0-2
DOI: 10.24251/HICSS.2017.313
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:ICT4D: ICTs and Sustainable Development Minitrack

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