Spider Robinson once wrote, “Shared pain is lessened. Shared joy is increased. Thus, we refute entropy.” It might have been with that first thought in mind that in the wake of the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality thousands of people took to Twitter to let the world (and specifically FCC Chairman Ajit Pai) see the full extent of their rage.
For the one US citizen who isn’t aware, the Federal Communications Commission recently repealed a series of regulations referred to as “net neutrality.” Mostly, these guidelines restricted internet service providers like Comcast from slowing traffic to or forcing customers to pay a surcharge for free traffic to individual websites. For example, without net neutrality, Comcast, as both a content provider and ISP, could decide that Netflix viewers should pay a fee for watching Netflix rather than Comcast’s content. Do you want to stream Stranger Things smoothly? You have to pony up the dough.
Critics of net neutrality argue that such a thing would never come to pass since any company who pulled such a nefarious move would get fried in the court of public opinion. The FCC and chairman Ajit Pai argue that without net neutrality, American businesses can innovate and boost the American economy.
Who’s right? No one can say. Though, it’s worth pointing out that more than 80 percent of Americans (including 3 out of 4 Republicans) opposed the repeal of net neutrality.
Perhaps that’s why the vitriol on social media was so powerful.
The FCC vote on #net neutrality today, was the perfect example of Regulatory capture. They went against the majority. The internet will never be the same. pic.twitter.com/rvKduRWqYT
— prg (@phallicymbal) December 14, 2017
CONGRESS BETTER STEP UP AND SAVE #net neutrality ?? WE PAY FOR OUR INTERNET WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BROWSE WHATEVER We want
— roselani ✨ (@Roselanii) December 14, 2017
Though, not everyone was outraged.
EVERYONE I HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT #net neutrality! PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT IT'S REPEALED! WHOOHOO! pic.twitter.com/FoL6ZurOFJ
— =•YouTubeMayaRewind=•= (@maya92741) December 15, 2017
Mostly, though, the vitriol served as an opportunity to excoriate Ajit Pai himself.
How America about to be doing ajit Pai ? #NetNeutrality pic.twitter.com/PzJ6pKpYYW
— Spidey Stretch (@Mcarroll84M) December 15, 2017
The FCC Chairman should probably steer clear of the internet through the holidays.
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