One of the more obtuse political footballs this winter has been “net neutrality.” Whatever that is.
The general idea intrigued me, so I attempted to do a little bit of research about it. First thing I note is that it’s hard to find arguments in favor of removing net neutrality. The second thing I note is that the arguments in opposition to removing net neutrality made no real sense.
Here are some examples.
A man says he came to America from a country in South America, and when he lived there he had to pay before he was allowed to tweet and he was protesting to avoid that happening here.
Does he not pay for his internet access here in America? I pay for a cellular data plan on my phone, I pay again to have internet at home and again at my office. The only way I tweet for free is if I find a public wifi, in which case someone else is paying for the connection, but that is not the same thing as it being free.
A common illustration is that net neutrality prevented people, and corporations from creating fast lanes which get all the service while everyone else is crowded into slow lanes.
I pay extra for fast internet at my house. I used to pay a little less and eventually decided to upgrade hoping the speed would make life easier. Companies pay according to the amount of bandwidth and speed they want. I started this plan long before net neutrality was repealed, and it has always the case that better service costs more.
Another argument is that large corporations will be able to force out smaller businesses by controlling how others access them on the net.
I have a friend who had a profitable small business. He was proud of the fact that in the narrow market that he served he would show up on the first page of most search engines. Then suddenly, he stopped showing up at all, and he stopped getting new orders. He learned that google had caused this calamity by changing their ranking algorithm. There was nothing he could do about it quick enough to save his business. This also happened before net neutrality was repealed.
I think the people who were against repealing net neutrality would probably call me an ignoramus and say that I just don’t get it. I would ask if they are sure they get it. If they do get it, why have they not found a way to express the problem in something other than the above non-sensical arguments.
I think the real problem is that we have become a nation of near sighted sheep who are too easily led. The right spin can rally people to a cause and they don’t have to understand the issue. These citizens will act as instructed, simply because of their blind allegiance to political parties, news outlets, and social media.