Garfield Senior High School

Internet madness

Now that net neutrality has been repealed with a vote of 3-2, we can all say goodbye to our basic human right to explore and express ourselves online. Without this right, our freedom to browse through web pages or any content available on the internet will forever be diminished. Just wait until internet speeds are throttled and the websites we search for are limited or blocked all thanks to the new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai.

Without open internet, internet service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast will be allowed to slow down or block any content posted by their rival companies. Internet users won’t have the same right as others who use the internet to get the same speeds of network, so the amount you pay for your service provider will not matter because we won’t know the truth about the websites that are unavailable. In addition, the internet is going to be carved into fast and slow lanes. I was astonished when I found out that without net neutrality in place, activists won’t be able to express themselves against oppression, in the social media context.

Furthermore, open internet is crucial for online social movements and without it these movements will cease to exist. For example, Peta2 is the world’s biggest youth animal rights group who advocate their cause online. Without net neutrality, this organization might not have the same opportunity to reach out to individuals and sign petitions to rescue animals from their sufferings or deaths. Open internet has helped Peta2 achieve major accomplishment for animals like the first ever felony indictments of farm workers. Peta2 members accomplished this by doing undercover investigations of pig-breeding factory farms in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Therefore, net neutrality is essential for social movements and just in general to help those that want their voices to be heard.

I also sympathize with the small businesses or startups because I, myself, hope to own my own small business. It’s challenging for small businesses to thrive in a market regulated by big corporations. Small businesses rely on the internet to launch their services and get well known in this competitive industry and connect with customers. I could go on about how without net neutrality, small businesses or entrepreneurs won’t be able to thrive as much, but I will just say that today ISPs are the internet’s gatekeeper and will seize every opportunity to profit from that position.

After all, we could always spread awareness about this issue and maybe even contact our representatives in Congress to help in some way. Internet has been and will forever be a place where people have looked for answers and communicated with one another. However, things will drastically change now that net neutrality has been repealed.