This is a big deal: the Federal Communications Commission will vote on net neutrality this Thursday. Net neutrality means each site is treated equally, meaning that everyone has a voice on the internet, no matter how much money you have. but if the Open Internet Preservation Act doesn’t get passed it could mean sites with a lot of money could be faster (among other things) whereas activist sites like change.org would be left in the dust since they don’t have big corporations behind them. Writer Alex Wilhelm from TechCrunch put it this way:
“It has always been my view that forcing Internet Service Providers [like Comcast] to treat all content equally is the correct way to ensure that all voices — the new, the established, the next, and the marginalized — have space.”
Some say that if the Open Internet Preservation Act doesn’t get passed, it could potentially be the end of effective women’s rights activism via the internet. And boy has the internet been an important platform for positive change over the last several years. People have been able to come together and organize around important issues and actually get a lot done. For example, internet activists ensured that offensive victim blaming ads were taken down. They got the White House to tackle the issue of sexual assault on campuses. They made sure abortion and reproductive rights supporters flooded the Texas capitol when rights were about to be chipped away. Internet activists have become a huge social justice network of people who have organized for human rights and respect and have accomplished a lot.
So internet activism has been pretty dang important. Who would call out big corporations for sexism or other wrong doing if the internet weren’t functioning on a level playing field and if all voices weren’t heard equally?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to voice your opinion.
Wilhelm, Alex. “Democrats Introduce Open Internet Preservation Act To Restore Net Neutrality”. Feb 3 2014. Web. May 13 2014. http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/03/democrats-introduce-open-internet-preservation-act-to-restore-net-neutrality/
Truitt, Joss. “Take Action: The End of Feminist Internet?” May 13 2014. Web. May 13 2014. http://feministing.com/2014/05/13/take-action-the-end-of-the-feminist-internet/