I'm sure that by now we've all heard the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve the so-called "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" which calls for revoking the net neutrality rules put into place in 2015. According to an article written by Timothy Karr of "Free Press", the repeal will now allow for the FCC to override the authority of internet service providers and clear the way "...for blocking, throttling and discrimination by the nation's largest phone and cable companies." To summarize, the repeal of the net neutrality regulations established in 2015 is not a good thing. This will hurt a lot of people in a variety of ways.
First of all, what exactly is net neutrality? In a way, it's the nondiscrimination law of the internet. It provides a platform on which anyone can speak. An article on "Save the Internet", funded by "Free Press" defines it as: "...the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online." So now that we have a definition, we can talk about who this will hurt most and why.
Because net neutrality prevents discrimination, the repeal of certain regulations will hit marginalized communities the most: people of color, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups. Net neutrality regulations are important for these marginalized communities because it provides a platform for organizing for racial justice, for activism. According to the aforementioned article by "Free Press," the "open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform."
So what can we do? If you don't want net neutrality regulations repealed, then find ways to protest. There are all sorts of petitions going around, people are calling around so their voices can be heard. There may or may not be a chance. According to an article written by Devin Coldewey of "Tech Crunch", while there isn't a magical instantaneous solution to revoke the FCC's ruling, it may be possible to urge Congress to use a resolution of disapproval that would overturn the FCC's decision. However, this is not likely to succeed in spite of the massive disapproval of the ruling.
Without net neutrality, we all lose. Certain communities will be hit harder but in the end, we all lose. Internet Service Providers will decide who gets to view and post what, and we all know who will be the most affected by this. This is a step against social justice, and it is not one we can afford to take.