Global expansion of U.S. social networks: The case of Facebook’s Freebasic service

An important fact people often overlook is that most Internet users live in the Global South. They access the Internet via social media platforms on mobile phones, and often through zero-rating schemes. Zero-rating is the practice of providing free of data charge access to specific online services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, or Wikipedia. This research project with my collaborator, Toussaint Nothias at Stanford University, constitutes, to the best of our knowledge, the first attempt to provide a large-scale systematic analysis of Facebook zero-rated flows over a period of 10 years worldwide.

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