This may be the case, but surely having access to some version of the internet is better than having no online access at all. Africa remains the least connected region in the world, with internet penetration at about 21%.

This is despite the continent boasting one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world. But the lack of a viable infrastructure has hindered deeper connectivity (paywall), especially in remote parts. This has meant that data services are usually expensive, leaving many unable to afford internet access.

This is the gap that the likes of Facebook, Google and others are trying to plug. Whether their motives are self-interested or not, the undeniable consequence of their efforts has been to provide access to some form of the internet for folks who didn’t have it before. In Kenya, for example, is allowing users access, for free, to such sites as BBC News, BBC Swahili, Facebook, Messenger, SuperSport and Wikipedia. Facebook says the service has connected nine million people to the internet. Surely, this is better than no internet at all.

Perhaps, criticism of the social media giant is ideological purity getting in the way of progress. As one analyst put it, critics of are in danger of falling into a classic trap of perfection being the enemy of the good.

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