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Seeing Beyond The Hubris Of Facebook’s Free Basics Fiasco

 

 

an excerpt - "Facebook’s Free Basics was an ill-conceived effort to bring Internet access to the poor in India. It created a walled garden in which Facebook and the Indian telecom providers selected which websites people could visit. Rather than being able to do Google searches and explore the web as we are able to, users of Free Basics would find that Facebook was the center of their virtual universe and would experience only what it allowed them to."

 

http://techcrunch.co...-basics-fiasco/

 

So << Is Connectivity A Human Right?>>

 

it would seem to be, especially if such connectivity is limited to Farcebook

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And a tangential story involvuluting farce book and the 'wisdom of the Thai masses' - Thainess

 

Two comments -

 

1 - The Thai farcebookers are going after the non-Thai Harvard University, when it's the Thai person that's (purportedly) done wrong.

 

2 - Farcebook's adherence to the concept of 'Truth by Popularity' is working out well for Harvard.

 

Thousands in Thailand are trying to tank Harvard’s Facebook rating. They say a Harvard dental professor failed to repay her tuition debt.

 

Thousands of people in Thailand are trying to tank Harvard University’s Facebook rating over a dental professor’s alleged failure to repay tuition debt.

 

Dolrudee Jumlongras received her Ph.D. in dental medicine from Harvard in 2003. According to the Bangkok Post , her tuition was funded by her alma mater, Mahidol University in Thailand, under an agreement that she would return to the university to teach. Instead, Jumlongras took a position at Harvard and allegedly neglected to repay her debt, which has grown to 30 million baht with interest and fees, the equivalent of around $850,000, the Post reported.

 

The controversy went viral after one of the guarantors of her loan—a fellow dentist at Mahidol—took to Facebook last week and claimed she broke the scholarship’s contract. Since then, thousands of people in Thailand have been voicing their outrage on Harvard’s Facebook page in an attempt to tank the university’s rating, which had dropped to 1.3 stars as of Sunday morning. While the page boasts 9,000 five star reviews, it currently has an overwhelming 43,000 one star reviews.

 

Prior to the incident, the rating was above four stars, The Crimson reported. Hundreds of recent reviews were made by users whose profiles say they’re from Thailand, and many are posting the same plea to the university to remove her from her position.

 

“This is a personal matter not in any way related to Harvard University and Harvard School of Dental Medicine,†Jumlongras said in an emailed statement. She said the allegations against her aren’t an accurate account of the situation, as she had asked for flexibility in repaying the loan and sent $50,000 as a “good-faith†payment to Mahidol University last April.

 

“The allegation that I tried to escape and dodge the payment obligation is untrue,†Jumlongras wrote.

 

Harvard did not comment on questions about the dropping Facebook rating and referred requests to Jumlongras.

 

While users in Thailand continue to bombard the page, it’s unlikely that their efforts will have a negative impact on the university, according to Gerald Kane, an information systems professor at Boston College.

 

“Harvard has one of the most recognized brand names in the world,†he told Boston.com. “I find it hard to believe that people would let their perception be colored by Facebook reviews.â€

 

While bad reviews have the potential to harm small businesses, people viewing Harvard’s page would likely find the low rating strange and read the comments, he said. Once they saw the majority of negative attention revolved around an isolated incident, they’d likely shrug it off, he said.

 

Despite the strength in numbers the reviewers have, there’s a possibility that the rating won’t stick. Harvard could ask Facebook to clear out the negative reviews, as they don’t accurately reflect the institution as a whole.

 

“Facebook is in these sort of dicey situations all the time,†Kane said. “They don’t want to be seen as censoring people. Facebook wants you to trust their reviews. To that extent, they’d say 10,000 people from Thailand all with one beef is not entirely reflective of the situation.â€

 

There’s also the possibility that Facebook would delete the bulk of the reviews to prevent the campaign from dominating the university’s page, but keep a few available, Kane said.

 

“They also don’t want to be seen as caving to the interest of a large organization,†he said. “They don’t want to be seen as a puppet that just jumps when Harvard says jump.â€

 

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2016/02/15/thousands-thailand-are-trying-tank-harvard-facebook-rating/o06W5G2lLxNNXytNDFmm2N/story.html

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