Swedish publicists in fury over ‘attack on net-neutrality’
Twenty-seven publicists are criticizing a new offer of free data on certain social media platforms by state-owned telecom company Telia.
‘‘It’s an attempt to try to move the limits of what the telecom companies are allowed to do when it comes to control content online,’’ the publicists from some of Sweden’s biggest media houses write in a debate article published in several newspapers Tuesday.
Telia’s new campaign, which offers free data when customers are using, for example, Facebook is a direct threat against the press freedom, the publicists say. It makes it difficult for media companies to reach out with their content because a user will have to use data to access it, according to the debate article.
For one thing, it will make it harder for news outlets to reach people living in remote places that are dependent on mobile broadband solutions to be able to access the Internet as these customers might not want to spend data on news sites when they can access Facebook and other social media platforms for free, the publicists write. This means the priority of what news a person in a remote Swedish village will see in his or her feed is determined by algorithms written on the American west coast, they add.
‘‘If this business model is allowed, Sweden’s publicists are forced to buy their own spot in the net-works or make deals with global giants, such as Facebook,’’ the publicists write.
The campaign is an attack on the net neutrality, which states that no Internet service provider should block or favour any particular web site or online actor, according to the article.FacebookTelia