Save the Internet: Flipkart pulls out of Airtel Zero over Net Neutrality furor

Flipkart, which was facing the brunt of anger on social media thanks to its dubious stand on Net Neutrality, has pulled out of the Airtel Zero programme.

By: Tech Desk | Updated: April 18, 2015 9:55 am
Net Neutrality, Flipkart Net Neutrality, Airtel Zero, Flipkart, Flipkart app Flipkart has pulled out of Airtel Zero. (Source: Screenshot)

Flipkart, which was facing the brunt of anger on social media thanks to its dubious stand on Net Neutrality, has pulled out of the Airtel Zero programme. Flipkart issued a statement on Twitter saying they were in support of Net Neutrality. Check out their tweet below:

The tweet then links to a NextBigWhat article which has an official statement from Flipkart. The statement reads,

We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been a great amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications. Based on this, we have decided on the following:

1) We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero

2) We will be committing ourselves to the larger cause of Net Neutrality in India. We will be internally discussing over the next few days, the details of actions we will take to support the cause

3) We will be working towards ensuring that the spirit of net neutrality is upheld and applied equally to all companies in India irrespective of the size or the service being offered and there is absolutely no discrimination whatsoever

This u-turn comes after Flipkart CEO had taken to Twitter to defend the Airtel Zero programme. He had earlier said on Twitter that when other companies did the same it was termed as innovation, hinting at the Facebook-Reliance Internet.org deal. Below are his earlier tweets.

Twitter users had however remained unconvinced and Flipkart’s app had also suffered in its ratings on Google Play as 1-star ratings had increased for the app in light of the controversy.

Flipkart’s CTO Amod Malviya also took to Twitter to say that the company will now fully back Net Neutrality in India. He tweeted,

Now it seems the social media backlash has convinced the company that it’s best to walk away from Airtel Zero.

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