Hey, America! I have an idea! Let’s open the gate for Internet service providing corporations to block the free flow of information so that we only see what they want us to see on the Internet. Let’s make it impossible for small independent businesses to use the Internet to gain exposure and sell products in the modern digital economy. I know that my own growing digital media production and publishing business will dry up and die in an America without Net Neutrality, but who cares? I’m not rich and important. I should live on garbage behind a gas station, right?
Despite having it explained to them 5,000 times, most people still don’t understand what Net Neutrality is. Well, I’ll try to illustrate what it is one more time anyway.
Net neutrality is nothing more than an American law (still in effect, but repealed as of June 11, 2018) stating that all Internet traffic be treated in the exact same manner by Internet service providers. That’s it. Companies like Comcast, Charter, and AT&T – all known for being on the shit lists of millions for crappy customer service – cannot charge website publishers additional fees for exposure and faster loading times. Under Net Neutrality they cannot slow down the loading of a website. Net Neutrality is why it didn’t take this web page a half an hour to load. You know how Facebook and other social media sites charge you money to boost your posts in their feed, making them more visible? The FCC wants to make it possible for corporations to do that to the ENTIRE INTERNET.
Do you want to know why the rules about Net Neutrality were enacted just a few years ago? Because the writing was on the wall that Internet service providers would begin to throttle certain traffic if a law didn’t prevent them from doing so. Forget the line of total bullshit from FCC chairman and former Verizon executive Ajit Pai about Net Neutrality “crushing freedom and innovation”. He’s manipulating you. When Net Neutrality rules are demolished and Internet providers are free to charge individuals for normal traffic to their websites, the free, democratic Internet will effectively be broken, leaving political speech and free enterprise open only to corporations willing and able to pay for preferential treatment.
THIS IS SERIOUS.
You know that small family-owned business that sells handmade fishing lures in Pennsylvania on the website that looks like 2005 never ended? Forget about them. If they even turn up in search results – if you manage to find the website – their pages may be so slow to load that you end up buying your China-manufactured fishing lures at Bass Pro Shop or Amazon. Hurray, America! Another victory for “innovation” and “freedom” from Net Neutrality!
What about that company that sells handmade Tibetan socks that you want to support because your purchase helps the cause of freeing Tibet from China? You will never see them again in search results because the FCC wants to take away equality for all websites, instead allowing service providers to say that only those with enough money to pay for traffic can have any traffic. So screw Tibet. You’ll need to get your socks from some asshole corporation who pays Chinese children $1/week to knit a ten pairs a day.
And here’s one that hits close to home: What if you are a chef who can no longer tolerate the toxic, abusive environment of the restaurant world and want to strike out on your own as a personal chef and caterer? Well, screw you. It’s not enough that you have to pay ridiculous overhead on industrial production space, ingredients and equipment. Now, thanks to the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, your advertising expenses could potentially go through the roof. That website that you spent months designing and shooting photos for? No one’s ever going to see it. Thank the FCC for this loving kiss on the cheek of Main Street America.
Before the Second Amendment that’s so precious to you freedom and gun-loving, fake Christian weirdoes, there was the First Amendment (Yes, the First came before the Second). Destroying Net Neutrality would be a deathblow to the amazing expansion of American free speech that the Internet has come to engender. If you love your stupid guns so much, you need to love Net Neutrality, because how else are you going to buy assault weapons and tactical hero nonsense on the Internet from independent dealers, or whoever the it is that sells them one-on-one in chat rooms from a trailer in Florida? Your church pastor’s digital ministry is going to go up in smoke too, and then you can actually say your religion is under attack.
So, yeah, screw small businesses and free enterprise by normal people and families. Everyone will just have to work for wages that will never go up in order to enjoy a decreasing standard of living and less freedom. There will no longer be any point in trying to build and operate a small business because the most useful tool that ever became available to small businesses for selling and promoting is in danger of disappearing. That’ll be great for the economy, and America will truly be great again, then.
Sound good? Then keep sitting on your ass, scrolling through cat pictures on corporate-dictated social media, eating chicken nuggets and doing absolutely nothing, because the gate is halfway open for Big Media to start shitting all over the Internet.
On the other hand, if this all sounds like a load of pure bull to you, visit BattleForTheNet.com to learn more and take action. Or, even better, enact the minimal effort needed to write a strongly worded letter to your representatives in Congress, and let them know how you feel about the FCC trampling on the free flow of digital information in a democracy that supposedly leads the world in freedom and democracy. Get off your ass and speak up.