Repealing Net Neutrality

Repealing Net Neutrality

The threat of losing equal internet access is impending.

"Net Neutrality," as it is so cleverly termed, is under threat of being repealed. When you peel back the layers of jargon that generally surround the issue, this is why it matters.

Net neutrality gives internet users equal access to the internet. Providers like Comcast or Verizon can’t determine what content users access. Any content creator is on an even playing field; the speed with which news from NBC can be accessed is no different from the speed with which news from ABC can be accessed.

While net neutrality benefits internet users, it can disadvantage certain internet providers. Comcast, for example, has an affiliation with NBC; as a business, it would be smarter and more profitable to push NBC’s content. Users could then lose the speed or ease with which they access other media sources, and consequently, the freedom to choose the sources they frequent. Steve Lohr of The New York Times explains the threat of “pay-to-play technology,” in which content creators would be required to pay to ensure that their content is quickly accessed. This could then be “prohibitive for start-up companies and new voices in the media and entertainment worlds.”

This is especially important in Trump’s America, where news media and journalism constantly fall under fire for being “fake.” We’ve enjoyed the liberty of choosing how to filter the information available to us, and receiving it from countless sources. This was threatened in 2014, and the backlash was overwhelming. Figures like John Oliver started micro-revolutions encouraging internet commenters to flood the website behind the control of net neutrality: the Federal Communications Commission.

Under the Obama administration, net neutrality remained protected, but on Tuesday, November 22nd, the FCC dismantled the regulations that otherwise protected it. Current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, defended the decision, arguing that “What we wanted to do is return to the free market consensus that started in the Clinton administration and that served the internet economy in America very well for many years." Similarly, Comcast has provided that “We do not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content- and we will be transparent with our customers about these policies.”

The viability of these claims is difficult to measure, given that the vote over net neutrality isn’t set to happen until December 14th. The most that can be anticipated is a heavy debate and further announcements from content creators like Google or Facebook on how they plan to proceed with potential changes. Remaining well informed is of more importance than ever; the information available is still on a guaranteed level playing field for three more weeks.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

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The Bests and the Worsts of Trump's First Year In Office

Hard to believe it's been a year....

After about a year of our new president, there is definitely much to be said. There have been highs, and there have been lows (in my opinion, quite a few more), but we are ultimately all still here a year later; this is truly an accomplishment.

Best Moments

1. Calling attention to the integrity of the media

With many fabricated news stories coming out throughout the election cycle and then afterward, it is important to maintain journalistic integrity because this is a vehicle to the truth. Trump has done a good job of bringing this to the forefront of the public mind and reminding us to question everything that we read.

2. Trying to work with Democrats

As America has become more and more polarized lately, it is genuinely positive that he has made SOME effort to bridge the gap and work together.

3. Lowered unemployment

Unemployment is at a 17-year low, and the market is growing. This is part of the natural cycle of the economy, but still -- we need to give him one.

4. Made it easier for military veterans to access therapy

Because we all know they need it after these unnecessary wars.

5. Counterterrorism

Trump has killed militants in Afghanistan without hurting any other civilians.

6. Got us out of school Monday!

Yeah, I felt that traffic from the presidential motorcade here for the CFP Championship...


Worst Moments

1. Like, every tweet.

Uh... has someone told him that the president of the United States of America shouldn't be insulting other countries?

2. Pulled out of the Paris Agreement

Our environment... sustainability... we are now the only country that hasn't signed it.

3. Attempted to ban Muslims from entering the country

This has contributed wildly to stereotyping and Islamophobia within the U.S. We cannot blindly feed prejudice like this and then also claim democracy has a place here.

4. Response to certain internal terrorist attacks

Charlottesville deserved condemnation. So did the Vegas attack. Especially given how vocal Trump was when it came to Islamic terror.

5. Approved the Keystone Pipeline

...and then it spilled. We claim to care about Native Americans and their heritage, yet we blatantly ignored it and built the pipeline anyway. Then it did exactly what everyone feared and contaminated the earth.

6. Kept that haircut...

With that much money, he could get whatever hair he really wanted...

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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Hey, Do You Even Know What The Feminist Movement Is About?

If you don't think you need feminism – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.

I keep seeing a lot of articles from women claiming that they don’t need feminism. If you think that, fine.

You are entitled to your own opinion no matter how wrong I think it is, but so am I. You may not see all the ways that feminism has touched your life, but I do.

I can use my vote to have a voice in my government. I can choose what’s best for my future in terms of education and career. I have rights over what happens to my body. All outcomes of the fights feminists have fought for women in our country. If you choose not to honor those fights, that is up to you. All choices, however, come with consequences.

What we conceive as our rights have not always been so, and could cease to be so at any time. The last year has proven that the unimaginable can in fact happen and that there are individuals in high stakeholding positions of our country that can make unconstitutional decisions at the drop of a dime.

I need feminism because there are people out there who want to defund health institutions focused on providing necessary services to low-income women, who would otherwise suffer without.

I need feminism because there are people out there who think that a woman still has a certain role to be filled based on their own preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman, rather than an individual woman’s hopes and dreams. I need feminism because there are people out there who think women have an obligation to abide by certain rules that have no standing in the lives of men.

I need feminism because there are people out there who are offended by women using their breasts for their natural, biological intentions but find it perfectly acceptable to use breasts to sell their products by sexualizing the female body in advertisements.

I need feminism because my little brother is six and already thinks there are certain toys he can’t play with because they are “not for little boys”. I need feminism because our criminal justice system cares more about the future of sexual assailants than their victims. I need feminism because there are people out there who find it appropriate to scream out profanities to women on the street and find no issue with making women feel uncomfortable as they go about an average day. I need feminism because when I bring up any of these issues or even claim myself as a feminist I am responded to with rolled eyes and tightened facial features. People are literally rolling their eyes at the idea of equality.

Oh, you don’t like feminists because you think they are extremists? There are extremists in literally any identifiable group of people you look at. There are conservatives, and then there are alt-right neo-Nazi white supremacists. There are Muslims, and then there is ISIS. There are Christians, and then there are Westboro Baptists. None of these groups are defined by those who take their definitions and doctrines into their own hands and mold them into identities to hide behind while they fulfill their own agendas. The same is true for feminists.

Feminism is about equality of all people (regardless of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, or whatever other categories by which we can further define people). Feminism looks to alleviate inequality as it relates to and is caused by patriarchal norms and misogynistic attitudes. If that sounds anything like hating men or just being too lazy to shave or whatever other stereotypes you can think of, then you are grossly missing the point.

This is why I need feminism. I need it for myself, my mother, my grandma, my brother, my niece, my nephew, my neighbor, my community.

So if you don’t think you need feminism I am truly happy for you that you haven’t yet felt the oppression that women all over the country are facing, but I strongly urge you to really re-evaluate what you think feminism is and why you don’t think you need it. If you still feel the same way – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.

Cover Image Credit: The Anti Feminist Bank//Facebook

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