For years we have taken advantage of our freedom on the internet. Every day we use social media like Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. It has never occurred to anyone that these rights could be taken from us, and it shouldn't be. What allows us to control our internet experiences is a not-so-little thing called Net Neutrality.
"Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked, " says an article on the Save The Internet website.
President Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to end Net Neutrality in all its forms. In the past May, it was decided by the FCC that Pai could continue with his plan. If this plan is put into action, the consequences could be fatal.
Net Neutrality is something that is currently protecting our freedom of speech on the internet. Allowing us to read and write whatever we please. Without Net Neutrality, our phone and wifi providers can block or slow down any content posted of their competitors or any article or post that contains opinions that they don't agree with.
What can also be taken away from us along with Net Neutrality is our freedom to use social media. This gives your phone provider the ability to say "Oh, you would like to use Instagram? That'll be an extra $5 a month along with your current data contract. Netflix? You can get that if you upgrade to our premium plan,” which means if you want to use a certain application, you have to pay extra.
The problem is, though, that you can't just get up and switch your carrier from Verizon to AT&T because now that it will be legal, all companies will be using it to profit. Although, certain companies’ prices and rates might differ in price, it still isn’t fair.
Many things are being put on the line with the upcoming decision on December 14th. The internet is the main place for the LGBTQ, indigenous people, and religious minorities to seek opportunities, fight discrimination, and speak out about real issues. These groups are already silenced by the media. Only showing the bad or not speaking on the behalf of those who need to be heard.
The media outlets today are our way to interact, socialize, and get our thoughts and opinions across. Its obvious how much our generation relies on the internet-and along with that, Net Neutrality. They see how dependent we are in our phones and laptops, and they see it as a way to profit. This is something they can easily profit off of, right? I mean, look how reliant we are, when our freedom on the web is taken from us, of course most of us will pay for it back.
Its an easy win for big name companies. What can people with no political following do? Well, a whole damn lot. With petitions, protests, meetings, etc., we can make this change. And while making a change, we can stop one that will cost us more than just our internet, but our voices.
So yeah, that online boyfriend or girlfriend you were planning on meeting once you turned 18? Good luck.
Your online friends that helped you fit in? You won't talk to them again.
The people that kept you from ending your life? They won't be there for you anymore.
So unless you start fighting back- yes you, right there sitting on your laptop or smart device- good fucking luck.