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Narendra Modi confuses the Internet for social media during Facebook Townhall Q&A
By SP_COP on September 29, 2015 | From
Narendra Modi confuses the Internet for social media during Facebook Townhall Q&A Many people use the terms Internet and the Web synonymously, even though they are different, albeit related. A similar, but more worrying confusion is that Internet users could end up believing that the Internet and social media services, such as Facebook, are the same. This is one of the arguments that Net neutrality advocates are using against Facebook's initiative.

Such fears are not unfounded. Studies have found that Facebook = Internet for millions of users. That a closed, proprietary network is thought to be synonymous with the open Internet is worrying at many levels.

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, where Net neutrality is still a hot topic of debate, goes to Facebook (accused of violating Net neutrality) and appears to confuse the Internet for social media. This confusion becomes a little worrying.

"You were one of the early adopters of the Internet and social media and Facebook. Did you, at the point, think that social media and the Internet would become an important tool for governing and citizen engagement and policy?," asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook Townhall Q&A at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park.

Note that Zuckerberg is careful to include both social media (with emphasis on Facebook) and the Internet in his question. Modi's response, however, doesn't make any mention of the Internet.

"When I took to social media, even I actually didn't know that I would become the chief minister and at some point become the Prime Minister," Modi said. It is noteworthy that Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat in 2001 and the time he was referring to in his answer to Zuckerberg's question would have been much before it.

Social media, as we recognise it now, was only a fraction of the entire Internet experience back then and also the term itself was not in popular usage. This means that the Prime Minister actually meant Internet (or maybe the Web) but said social media....
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NAMES: Narendra Modi, Mark Zuckerberg
TAGS: confuse, Facebook, internet, Q&A, social media, the 15th and current Prime Minister of India