I am writing this post for three reasons. First of all, I want you all to admire the special halloween cover I put on the front page. Please admire it now!
Ok, the second and third reason are somewhat related. You might have seen that big blue banner that appeared before you entered the site. This is because I am part of the Internet Defense League, a movement to defend net neutrality. And if you, my dear reader, are from the US, than you are concerned directly, because your freedom of speech in the internet is in danger.
First of all, some facts (go to fightforthefuture.org if you wish to check them): The Federal Communications Commission of the United States (FCC) with its chairman Ajit Pai is about to introduce a law that allows internet service providers (ISPs) to control the speed of the internet. You might already be angry about your ISP delivering slow internet in general, but that’s not what I mean. With this law in place, ISPs will have the power to differentiate based on the content being sent. A simple example: If Netflix wishes to deliver 4K content to their users in realtime, they will need to pay an extra fee. That will not be a problem for big players like Netflix, but small businesses or individuals may not have the required amount of money. And this will indeed kill net neutrality, since the content of a small business will only be delivered on the slow lane, while big companies have the money to afford the fast lane.
While I do want to spread the word about this and encourage you in the United States to take action, I also want to critisize the Internet Defense League. Because I am taking part in their campains, I also receive their emails and see the tone they use to convince people. Don’t get me wrong, I think that net neutrality is a very important topic (because it relates very much to the freedom of speech), but usually, doubious cults use the very same tone to convince people that they need to follow their lead and that they need to pay them money to “be healed”. And using the same tone, makes me loose my trust in the Internet Defense League.
While I know that this is only a drop on a hot stone, there is still a slight possibility that somebody from the Internet Defense League reads this and hands the suggestion to the responsible persons, as I think that continuing to publish texts in this tone will make people disrespect the Internet Defense League, which is something I don’t want.
Happy Halloween 🙂