Profit Over Freedom
A 3-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on Thursday to repeal net neutrality. Net neutrality is the based on the idea that all data on the internet is equal – there should be no filtering or bias on behalf of internet providers to their consumers. It also dictates that providers cannot charge differently to view different types of information, platforms, applications, etc.
The vote changed all of that. Now internet providers can limit our access to websites or platforms, change downloading speeds for certain content; in other words, the internet will no longer remain neutral under such a vote.
It helps that the pockets of internet providers can be better lined with no net neutrality. They hold the keys to the kingdom, and the kingdom will become more difficult to access. Broadband providers, under the 2015 net neutrality rule, could not promote their own content. Now, so long as they disclose it, they will be allowed to portray bias.
“(The White House) supports the FCC’s efforts. At the same time, the White House certainly has and always will support a free and fair internet,” (Reuters).
16 Senators are preparing to overturn this vote and restore net neutrality in the US.
Several state attorneys have also expressed that they will oppose the ruling, and fight to forbid the vote from replacing net neutrality.
The general public, too, is highly against this vote. Social media has become an immense platform for a wide array of outcry regarding the Trump administration. Celebrities, influencers and the common public are all decrying this vote, among other decisions that Trump has brought about in 2017.
Consequences of Net Neutrality
More than anyone, Trump remembers that mid elections are fast approaching in 2018.
While the vote against net neutrality is a large blow, it might work in favour of the Democrats.
“The American public is angry,” said Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, adding that the Republican majority’s actions have “awoken a sleeping giant,” (Reuters).
While the general attitude towards the FCC vote is hostile, the Democrats may have picked up an issue that will make their mid election journey fruitful.
As aforementioned, this issue has struck strong nerves on social media – majority of whom are millennials, or influencers of millennials. The Democratic party is neatly poised to take advantage of this huge voting block.
Their actions against net neutrality and their rallying call towards millennials could help the Democrats form a wave of support to ride through mid term elections.
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