Seeking to put an end to the controversy over painting the profile pictures of many users in tricolour, Facebook has come out with an explanation. The social networking giant has admitted that it was a mistake by an engineer and added that it has nothing to do with Internet.org's publicity plans in India.
It could be mentioned that the use of tricolour filter in users' profile photos by Facebook to support India's Digital India mission was seen as part of its Internet.org campaign.
"There is absolutely no connection between updating your profile picture for 'Digital India' and Internet.org. An engineer by mistake used the words 'Internet.org profile picture' as a shorthand name he chose for part of the code," a Facebook spokesperson said, according to IANS.
The company has changed the code to avoid the confusion among the social media users. From 'internetOrgProfilePicture_prideAvatar', the code is now changed to 'digitalindiaProfilePicture_prideAvatar'.
"But this product in no way connects to or registers support for Internet.org," the spokesperson added.
The controversy over the profile picture started when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg changed their Facebook profile pictures with a tint of green, saffron and white--representing the Indian Tricolour--to express their support towards the 'Digital India' campaign, which aims at digitalising important documents to avoid paperworks. They had also requested their followers to change their Facebook photo as a symbolic gesture to express their support on the idea.
Celebrities and sportmen like MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambir, Dulquer Salmaan, Venketesh Daggubati, Jayam Ravi, Ajay Devgn, Anushka Shetty, Priyamani and many others came forward supporting the initiative.
However, after the screenshot of the programme code with Internet.org title went viral, it was said that the agenda behind changing the profile picture "is not to support Digital India" but to project it as social media users' support towards Internet.org initiative, which is said to be a "free Internet service that will kill Internet freedom and will hurt the start up ecosystem as well".