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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tri-colour profile, showing their support for the ‘Digital India’ campaign.[/caption]
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced after a question-and-answer event with Prime Minister Modi that he had tinted his profile picture with the hues of the Indian flag to support the Digital India programme.
Prime Minister Modi did the same immediately and soon, thousands of other Indian Facebook users did the same. The social media was painted in the colours of the national flag with many users changing their profile pictures to support the cause.
They were were greeted by a message thanking them for “helping transform India into a digitally empowered society”.
But is it just that or is there a ulterior motive behind all this?
There were soon claims that uploading the distinctive picture could come to be interpreted as support for Facebook’s internet.org project in addition to Modi’s Digital India.
This allegation arose when some internet users looked at the source code of Facebook’s tool, which revealed that it was logging the entries of people changing their profile picture with tags related to Facebook’s contentious internet.org.
Source: techaddict0099 on r/india
“While you might be updating your profile pic to (look cool) show your support towards Digital India, Facebook is counting it as a support for Internet.org,” the website nextbigwhat.com claimed.
However Facebook claimed this was all a misunderstanding. "There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for digital India and Internet.org," a company spokesman said late on Monday night. "An engineer mistakenly used the words 'Internet.org profile picture' as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code. But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org. We are changing the code today to eliminate any confusion."
However, the revelation of the alleged source code was interpreted by social media users as a complete violation of an honest disclosure policy on Facebook’s part.
It was also claimed that Data from every profile picture that is changed can be used by Facebook anytime to show support for internet.org, as claimed by some internet techies.
Though, TRAI will not accept any data that is presented by Facebook to support Internet.Org, because TRAI does not consider Facebook as a reliable data source, but it will help make Facebook's case stronger, if they choose to include this.
Even if the source code is not used anywhere by associating itself with the Digital India campaign, Facebook will do much to enter into the country's collective consciousness and generate popular support.