We're Getting Too Informed
Could being too informed be the real reason the FCC wanted to end net neutrality? No, it's still the money.
Back in December, a group of five people, who were not elected, voted 3-2 to end net neutrality. The obvious reason for this was for the internet service providers (A.KA. "donors") to make more money, but one of the many major downsides of this is these companies getting to control the information that goes to the public.
In a world where people can find out anything in a matter of seconds the public is more informed now than ever. Politicians hate that, as they should. Within seconds we can find out if they are lying or not. Who their donors are. How they've voted. Basically, if they are representing their constituents the way they said they would during their elections or bowing down to their donors. This has led to one of the more humorous elements of this whole thing: politicians skipping out on their own town hall meetings.
The scariest part of ending net neutrality to me isn't so much paying more for slower service (which would seriously suck!) it's the controlling of the information. If we let the corporate entities control the propaganda machine we'll be woefully uninformed about what's going on with our government and what's going on in the rest of the world. We think that sort of thing only happens in North Korea, but if the corporations had their way we'd be like that here in the U.S.
They can also throttle the websites of their competition. This creates an unfair advantage and would pretty much destroy all start ups, but that's a different side effect of ending net neutrality. As someone that gets my news from online sources (like The Young Turks, The Humanist Report, Redacted Tonight) I would be pissed if these sites were slowed down or had their videos messed with because the corporate overlords don't approve of their message.
Now FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, insists that these multi-billion dollar internet service providers would never do anything like that. But my question is "If you aren't going to do that, why are you fighting so hard to change the rules so you can do that?" Makes no sense to me. Especially since their main goal is to make money. Why spend so much time and money to end net neutrality if you aren't going to do anything once it's gone?
They are essentially saying "We won't do anything bad, but let's just get rid of that rule preventing us from doing the thing we aren't going to do anyways." This would be like a burglar trying to convince someone to not have locks on their doors because they've never been robbed in the past. I'm not buying it and neither should you.
Many states are coming up with their own net neutrality rules with Montana being the first (yes, that Montana). Others include: California, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and several others despite Verizon and AT&T successfully lobbying the FCC to include language banning states from trying to protect consumers from monopoly market abuses. How can we ever trust these people again? They are putting in special rules to make it illegal for states to fight back. I thought republicans were supposed to be for smaller government and states' rights? Sure doesn't seem like it.
In closing, I don't know what's going to happen with net neutrality. Sounds like the states are going to put up one hell of a fight to keep it. Don't mess with our internet! It's the only thing we have to distract us from how crappy things have gotten. #SoMuchWinning
All this political stuff is making me sad. Time for a vodka run!
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