On December 14, 2017, a vote by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) was held to repeal net neutrality, with a 3-2 vote in favor of the plan. With this result, came a seemingly infinite production of memes from the internet that attempted to demonize Ajit Pai. Some of these memes were downright atrocious, personally attacking the FCC chairman Ajit Pai himself, while others – though much more mild – also attempted to deliver the same message of their distress at the thought of losing net neutrality.
Ajit Pai’s response was not surprising, but far from professional. He quickly responded with his own “meme” video titled “7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After Net Neutrality”, showing 7 mocking internet cliches, such as how “you can still ‘gram’ your food” as the FCC chairman proceeds to sprinkle Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on a mix of questionable ingredients, then coating it in hot sauce, calling his creation “quality” and taking a selfie with it. He then also states that you can still “take photos of cute animals, like puppies”. You can watch his full response in the following link:
The video, however, soon becomes increasingly mocking, with each new “thing you can still do” featuring viral objects from 2017 like fidget spinners, eclipse glasses, and a Game of Thrones clip in the background of him “binge watching his favorite shows”. However, it is the last 2 examples that truly set fire to the flame. With a mocking “You can still drive memes right into the ground” statement, Ajit proceeds to do the Harlem Shake as the music plays in an obnoxious trend from years ago, causing the internet to become enraged.
Not only was the video poor in addressing the actual issues that people have with the repeal of net neutrality, but it also turned their concerns into a joke. It’s no wonder that Harry Rodrigues, the creator of the song used for The Harlem Shake, is trying to “take action” against the FCC chairman for his offensive trivialization of the issue and his use of the song.
Ajit Pai has made it clear that he does not care about the people’s opinions and what they want, instead pushing their opinions aside as he tramples on them. Though the vote still has to go through Congress, there is little to no doubt that the repeal will pass and that Ajit Pai will continue his life with little to no consequence over his childish mishandling of the situation.