I hate those “device free family time!” commercials and the internet companies that are now advertising “you can now pause the internet whenever you want your kids to pay attention to you!!”
Like I WISH I had a family I could sit at dinner with and just have a nice chat. I WISH I could talk to my parents without fearing of somehow disagreeing with them and being threatened with disownment and draining my bank account to control me. Having our phones out at dinner, parents included, is what has KEPT us a family.
If had lived with my parents, or if I was still in middle/high school and living with my family, I would have fucking killed myself. The internet—chatting with friends, reading fanfiction, watching anime in three parts on YouTube—is what kept me sane all this time. I could sit through the bullshit every goddamn day because I knew once I disappeared into my room, I could do something that made me happy, that calmed me.
So these two concepts, quite obviously thought up by older folks: Fuck off!!!
Almost certainly, this is going to pass. Net Neutrality, at least federally-enforced Net Neutrality, is basically dead, and there’s nothing we can really do about that now. Calling Congress won’t help, and never really could, since everything will be decided solely by the FCC’s five commission members, one of whom is Pai himself, and two others who are similarly dead-set on corporate fuckery as a platonic ideal. That means this plan will probably pass 3-2 no matter what.
So what now? How do we live in a post Net Neutrality world?
Pai’s plan would put internet communications under the control of the FTC and not the FCC. The FTC would not have the authority to enforce Net Neutrality in any capacity. However, they do have the authority to enforce that corporations are transparent about their practices. Plainly put, corporations will be forced to deliver what they advertise. They can package the internet, offer paid prioritization, and the like, but they will have to say so.
This means that if a service provider offers a neutral internet, they will have to deliver. And almost certainly, many if not most service providers will have to, or face backlash. Some will try to deneutralize the internet, sure, but they will be stepping into outrage hell. Democracy must now be waged on the corporate level, and not governmental. This means complaints to ISPs, calling out bad practices, making a ruckus and creating backlash when ISPs begin enacting anti-consumer practices.
Unfortunately, this will be incredibly difficult. Telecom is currently an oligopoly, which means that there are few if any competitive options available for most consumers, and the FCC has made it actively difficult for startups to compete. It will now be of utmost importance to see what internet options are available, and whether they offer neutral access to the internet. Even if you only have one or two big ISPs available in your area, small internet startups appear and fizzle out all the time, so keep an eye out. They typically fail because, being small companies, they lack the access to the infrastructure that big cable companies already have access to, and therefore can’t supply internet service at competitive speeds. However, corporate-scale net neutrality will become a second point of competition besides speed. If a small company offers slower speeds but neutral access, they should be supported.Eventually, if big telecom companies see they’re losing consumers to smaller, neutral providers, they will change their practices too, and everyone benefits, even the people without options. And with any luck, they’ll learn that lesson sooner rather than later. (this process will be accelerated if bigger companies offer neutral access from the get-go, instead of having to rely solely on the whims and fortune of Small Business™)
All this is full of maybes and ifs, and may not work, and may take a long time, and federally-enforced Net Neutrality is definitely preferable, but all is not lost. There will almost definitely be a lot of nasty greedy bullshit that will affect a lot of people, but the fight isn’t over.
The Cannibal House — This is the house of Armin Meiwes, a notorious German cannibal. In 2001 at the age of 39, Meiwes searched for a volunteer to be “slaughtered and consumed” on a website called The Cannibal Café. Bernd Brandes, a 43-year-old from Berlin, responded to the advertisement. The two met on March 9th, 2001, in Meiwes’ house in a small farming village near Rotenburg, Germany. After Brandes consumed sleeping pills and alcohol, Meiwes amputated Brandes’ penis with a knife. They attempted to eat the penis which was fried with spices and wine; however, this plan failed as it was too burned. Just after, Meiwes poured Brandes a bath (in the bathtub featured above), where he lay bleeding for three hours. Eventually, Brandes was dragged upstairs to the slaughter room where he was killed after Meiwes slit his throat. The body was hung on meat hooks and was later hacked into pieces. This entire gruesome ordeal was filmed on a two-hour long videotape.
Over the next 10 months, Meiwes consumed approximately 20 kgs (44 lbs) of Brandes’ flesh and stored body parts in his freezer. Eventually, Meiwes longed for another victim, and placed more advertisements on the internet. In December 2002, police arrested Meiwes in his home after receiving a phone call from a man who was concerned by the new ads. Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter in January 2004, and was sentenced to eight years in prison, as it was ruled that Brandes was a voluntary participant in the killing. In May 2006, this sentence was revised to life imprisonment for murder due to a retrial. Meiwes conducted several interviews in prison, and has stated that he believes there to be approximately 800 cannibals in Germany. He has since become a vegetarian and is reportedly feeling sorry for his crimes.
When will companies learn that the best way to advertise their product is to just have the weirdos of the internet namedrop the product in shitposts. No “official accounts”. No “Having People on Vine make Vines with your product in it”. Just have someone with a decent number of followers post like
My friend: Hey man, you always seem down in the dumps Me, doing a kickflip and taking a bite of Nutter Butter: It’s what I do.
Net Neutrality MUST be preserved. If you haven’t called your Senator already, or the lines are busy, or you have phone anxiety like me,
TEXT “RESIST” TO 50409
Resist Bot will help you fax a letter to your Senator. If you don’t know what to say, my personal letter is below. Edit it to suit your own voice:
The internet is a basic necessity for me and many people like me in our Central Florida community. Without the open internet, we lose our ability to learn, share and communicate in this modern world.
I believe internet providers should not have the power to discriminate against certain types of content. Forcing customers to use certain sites in internet “fast lanes” will squash innovation and competition. It may destroy the livelihood of many people who depend on a free and open internet to run and advertise their own independant business or website. It will silence the voices of people of color and other marginalised groups. And most important to me, it will cease the ease of communication I have with my family and loved ones around the world.
I’m urging FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to preserve real Net Neutrality under the FCC’s existing rules and keep broadband internet access classified under Title II.
Thank you for your consideration. Please do the right thing to preserve Net Neutrality.