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With federal regulators set to vote in favor of repealing net neutrality laws on Dec. 14, Reddit and its users are livid. They have stepped up their outspoken opposition to the move.
As of Dec. 1, the entire front page of Reddit was plastered with the faces of Congress members who intend to vote in favor of the FCC’s repeal plan.
Reddit communities based in 45 states joined in this mass demonstration, calling out their local members of Congress. They feel that they have been betrayed by their elected officials. They made their anger known by posting pictures of their Congress members declaring how much money they had taken from telecom lobbyists to sell out our online liberties.
Reddit is decidedly against the plan to repeal net neutrality laws led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The FCC’s official plan unveiled on Nov. 21 was met with heavy criticism and a massive site-wide response from Reddit. Throughout the following week, there were over 50,000 unique posts and over 350,000 comments related to net neutrality, generating over 21 million votes on the site.
If you have heard about net neutrality, you may be unfamiliar with exactly what it means for you. In brief, it’s not good. In fact, the loss of net neutrality would heavily affect your day-to-day life.
Existing net neutrality laws are fundamental for our internet liberties to stay free from restrictions and censorship. Telecom giants like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are backing Pai pushing for its repeal. Basically, net neutrality means that these internet providers must treat all traffic on the internet equally. If this vote were to pass, internet providers would have the ability to hold our internet connections hostage. They would severely limit your internet connection to many of your favorite websites. This means that they could attack services like Netflix that compete with their business interests by making competitors extremely slow. Forcing you to pay for an upgrade package to access the site with the internet speeds that you have now.
Reddit is not alone in this fight however. Thousands of internet-based businesses have come together to voice their support for existing net neutrality laws, from small startups to Twitter, Netflix, GitHub and Google. They recognize just how detrimental the loss of these laws could be for our internet freedoms.
As the internet has become a major part of life for all Americans, the loss of net neutrality would have a devastating effect on this country. The FCC and telecom giants are counting on our inaction and lack of understanding to pass this repeal. It’s our job to spread the word and make this issue known nationwide.
In 2017 our nation is politically polarized, but this issue goes beyond politics. This will affect everyone.
However, not all is lost yet. You too can do you part to fight the FCC’s decision to let corporate entities control our internet. Head on over to Battleforthenet.com and let your voice be heard.
Contact Arts Writer Chris Koehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.