Opposition To The Repeal Of Net Neutrality Is Broad

Above Photo: Proponents of net neutrality protest against Federal Communication Commission Chair Ajit Pai outside the American Enterprise Institute before his arrival May 5, 2017 in Washington.

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Note: The US public across the political spectrum opposes the repeal of net neutrality. The announcement of FCC plans to end treating the Internet as free and equal to all has created a political firestorm that is just beginning. While we were out protesting at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s house as soon as he started talking about repealing Title II classification and net neutrality, Pai was abe to relatively quietly act without a lot of protest. There were record numbers of public comments, over 20 million, but they were minimized by fake comments, about 8 million that the FCC did not remove and allowed them to pollute the public comment record. In the last month, on the coalition site BattleForTheNet.com alone has generated 566,833 calls to Congress. Our Internet Freedom campaign, Protect Our Internet, links to that site to make calls to Congress.

Here is what we are urging people to do in the immediate future:

  1. KEEP CALLING Congress, demand they intervene to stop the FCC or slow Pai’s FCC net neutrality scheduled on December 10th.

Congress has the power to stop the vote.

We have the power to push Congress.

  1. Go to a Verizon Store! The Team Internet Coalition will descend on Verizon Stores across the country on December 7th to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the internet. Get more info and sign up or organize your own local event here: http://verizonprotests.com/
  1. Sign up to come to DC and Protect the Net!

During the week of December 11th, we’re planning direct actions to #SaveTheNet including a protest on December 13th and a TBA action on December 14th.

The campaign for Internet Freedom is an essential battle for Freedom of Speech in the 21st Century. Join it. Sign up at our Protect The Internet campaign.

KZ and MF


FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Chief Ajit Pai has announced that on December 14, the body will vote to pare back net neutrality rules.

Internet freedom activists and progressive organizations immediately responded to the announcement with a wave of opposition, as was expected.

But more interestingly, in some of the most right-wing and Trump-supporting corners of the internet, there is a rebellion brewing.

Take, for instance, Breitbart News. The popular right-wing website has been a loyal ally to President Donald Trump, perhaps more devoted to his cause than any other.

The article about Pai’s move has 1,117 comments, mostly aghast at the FCC’s plan.

“This is as anti consumer as it gets. All will pay more for less [while] simultaneously enriching corporations as they increasingly control who sees what when and how. This is NOT MAGA. It’s a heist and a hijacking,” writes commenter Dr. Pangloss in the top-voted comment on the thread.

Others, like john05, quickly came to the correct conclusion that this could even help telecommunications companies that are close to the Democratic Party. “Comcast will be laughing all the way to the bank when it gets permission to bias its subscribers’ internet traffic in favor of its own media holdings like MSNBC,” he noted.

“Why is Trump on board with this?” asked commenter STOP! “We need more monopoly-busting (e.g. Goolag. Twitter, Facebook free speech guarantee), not less.”

Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom, tech libertarians whose anti-authority politics drove them toward anti-establishment Trump, broke with the president over the issue. Both are influential within the online Trump community.

Dotcom, in particular, was called out to comment on the move by activist Barrett Brown.

Assange, meanwhile, tried to speak in a language Trump might understand.

Over at the Daily Caller, another popular right-wing website, some commenters are taking the same route on articles about net neutrality. “Net neutrality is actually good for everyone. I bleed red and vote red, but I’m not okay with this. Repealing net neutrality gives ISPs all the leverage in the world to wring every last cent out of us,” wrote Frank Danger, who has a picture of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas as their avatar.

Some commenters on popular right-wing internet forum Free Republic agreed. “This is a terrible idea. Ending net neutrality will lead to increased censorship and government/corporate control of the internet,” wroteWatchungEagle.

Over at The Blaze, it was more of the same. “Diehard conservative here but I am REALLY REALLY REALLY against this. This is going to result in the opposite of a free-market. How does anyone think this is a good idea? This is terrible news that results in higher prices for us and less options available. Really disappointed in this,” wrote SpringBreakWoo.

This rebellion is also taking place on Reddit.

The top-voted comment on a thread about Pai’s plan on the popular pro-Donald Trump subreddit “The Donald” is “Damn that’s fucked,” by Phate1989. “We must FIGHT!” HarranGRE says in the second-most top-voted comment.

On the main conservative subreddit, r/conservative, a user asked if other users agreed with eliminating net neutrality. The top-voted comment reads, “If we had actual competition for Internet, I would support it. Because the market would kill it anyway. But we don’t. We have monopolies. So I don’t support it.”

On the NASCAR subreddit, which is not explicitly political but caters to an audience that is very much Red State America, a thread on the attack of net neutrality went above 60,000 points before being closed by moderators. One commenter pointed out this was the all-time top-voted thread in the history of the subreddit.