Lifestyle

Here’s the thing about #NetNeutrality…

The battle to save Net Neutrality is here again—I’m so tired of worrying about it every. single. month. Remember the dial-up days? That’s what we’re looking at if we lose Net Neutrality in the United States. The internet stops being available in one fell swoop of a package and becomes like cable/satellite providers—do you want social media with that? Ah, you’ll need email, too. And hey—since it’s so popular, I imagine businessmen will put together a religious package, too.

No one will be safe.

Dramatic posts aren’t my thing—I prefer my drama in the form of fiction, thank you—but here we are: the FCC tried to bury this mess beneath the holidays. This is weak compared to previous stunts—when they’d try to drop it during coverage of terrorism and natural disasters, when they’d try to cut it during the Orlando nightclub shooting. If you live in the States and haven’t heard of it, don’t be surprised—they’ve done a lot to keep it under the radar, putting forth the effort to rid the US of it in silence to avoid turning any heads. I assume they’re growing impatient now, but like serial killers, impatience causes sloppy mistakes and leads them to getting caught.

The internet doesn’t work like the everyday person thinks it does.

The biggest thing having a website has taught me is that the internet is not me > internet voodoo > website.

In order for a website to be a website, it needs a web host. Beyond the basic web host, heavy-traffic websites need a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver the content (i.e. the stuff you see on a page) to users. A few examples of these are Google and Amazon, the two biggest ones I’ve seen most often.

Then, you have statistics, like Google Analytics. You have bots and crawlers—some are mere pests, but others are important. Some allow social media sites and the websites you visit to work well together—like if you want to share something, Pinterest’s and Facebook’s bots need to be able to crawl that website. I’m not sure how this would work if internet service providers (ISPs) brought in this sort of competition—if everything was fair game. The internet as we, American citizens, know it depends greatly on websites working nicely together—playing nicely together—but it could be a huge mess if ISPs lacked the rules they do now.

It’s more like web host > website > CDN > internet voodoo < us.

Pizza metaphor to explain Net Neutrality

If we lose Net Neutrality, only businessmen get a say.

The thing a lot of people on my Facebook friends list seem not to understand is that—right now—Net Neutrality allows them to use the internet as they please. They can play those casino slots games and visit every website under the sun. If we lose Net Neutrality, they will have to a) pay for Facebook, b) pay for games and c) pay for whatever other websites they want to visit.

But what about free speech? We’ll lose it. What is freedom of speech, if we cannot visit sites that contain content our ISPs don’t like? What is freedom of speech, if we can no longer view content about another ISP? What is freedom of speech if ISPs will be able to block our ability to visit sites expressing it?

The people on my friends list speaking out against Net Neutrality, thinking neutrality means “winding up like one of those countries” are completely missing the point of neu-tral-i-ty.

Everything is neutral right now because we have Net Neutrality. Taking it away will result in nothing being neutral.


I don’t know how else to explain this—to make it clear, so…

I’ve received many compliments about a Facebook post I wrote on this, so I’m pasting it here:

If you don’t understand the importance of #NetNeutrality, it boils down to whether you want to have to pay MORE to visit the various sites you enjoy, whether you want to support small businesses, and whether you want to let your wallet determine how you surf the ‘net.

Sure, internet subscriptions are a thing—but this is deeper than that: Using Facebook and uploading family photos is fun and FREE right now, but if Net Neutrality is appealed—if we LOSE it—you might have to pay a monthly fee to use certain sites, e.g. a “social media” fee, and even then you may have limited access. Using the internet will be less about connection and gathering knowledge and more about favoritism by your internet service provider (ISP). It will be a new form of censorship. It doesn’t matter who you voted for or who your party is—quite frankly, I don’t care. Net Neutrality is beyond this—it is what allows us to have [or attempt to have] fair elections, to find out information we need about different candidates.

No Net Neutrality means you might have to pay to use Google websites, because an ISP may favor Bing or Yahoo! instead. So…you’d have to pay to have an email account, basically. Yeah, you could make a new one—but take it from someone who has had a LOT of email accounts: that’s hard work!

It’d be like a Chromebook, which only lets you install apps from the Chrome web store/Google App store. You might be able to download Firefox on an Android, but there are strict limitations as to what it can do.

And if you think religion won’t be touched, you should think again. Some of Google’s top searches are related to religion. It’d turn into a money-maker for ISPs JUST because of the SEO juice. Because citizens won’t have a say—it’d be up to companies, i.e. businessmen who care only about making more money.

Ridding ourselves of Net Neutrality is an attack on our freedoms and our rights—freedom of speech would have no place on the internet thereafter, because ISPs could decide to block access to a website if it contained something they didn’t like. They would literally control how you use the internet.

The FCC has been really sleazy regarding Net Neutrality over the years, trying to push appeals and bills against it during tragic events…so I don’t blame you if you’ve not heard of it. I’m surprised they’re doing this ’round the holidays instead of burying it under terrorism and natural disasters. Probz getting impatient.

Photo is what internet looks like in Portugal, which doesn’t have Net Neutrality. #SaveNetNeutrality. If you think your Internet’s slow now, not saving it will take us back to the dial-up ages.

Photo of plans in Portugal

Jane Lawson is a lifestyle blogger at janepedia.com and cousin to Charlise. In her free time, you can find reading or streaming on-demand. The quickest way to her heart is through mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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