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Leave the internet alone: a net without neutrality is no good

Ajit+Pai+is+sworn+in+as+a+member+of+the+Federal+Communications+Commission+in+2012.+Recently+appointed+Chairman+of+the+Commission%2C+Pai+plans+to+remove+the+longstanding+policy+of+Net+Neutrality.
Ajit Pai is sworn in as a member of the Federal Communications Commission in 2012. Recently appointed Chairman of the Commission, Pai plans to remove the longstanding policy of Net Neutrality.

Ajit Pai is sworn in as a member of the Federal Communications Commission in 2012. Recently appointed Chairman of the Commission, Pai plans to remove the longstanding policy of Net Neutrality.

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Communications Commission

Ajit Pai is sworn in as a member of the Federal Communications Commission in 2012. Recently appointed Chairman of the Commission, Pai plans to remove the longstanding policy of Net Neutrality.

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On Thursday, December 14, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether to end or uphold Net Neutrality, but this is not the only thing at stake. An attack on Net Neutrality is an attack on today’s generation, and could be the biggest disruption to self expression American youth could face.

I am no stranger to the internet. From a young age, computer classes and internet usage were not just an addition to curriculum, but an essential skill to learn in order to join the workforce in a modern world. The internet is etched into almost every American lifestyle, and an expectation exists for the internet to be present at all times for our use. As much as it may be frowned upon by older generations, the internet is a part of the teen psyche and incredibly valuable to us.FCC chairman Ajit Pai wants to dismantle Net Neutrality in entirety. An end to Net Neutrality is a direct blow to our culture, and it is imperative that we are aware of exactly what we may lose should it be compromised.

Net Neutrality is what makes the internet so special. It protects communication and free speech, and prevents censorship, specifically by corporations controlling communication. The majority of Americans want to leave Net Neutrality as is, and that want is justified due to speculation of possible outcomes. If Net Neutrality is discontinued , those companies will have the ability to censor certain websites they do not agree with by slowing down speeds and prompt delivery. For example, if Netflix was a rival of an internet provider, that provider could effectively block or slow down Netflix on a whim. Imagine trying to watch season four of The Office, but taking ten minutes to get past the theme song due to buffering. And as inconvenient as that may be, the removal of Net Neutrality could also have severe social impacts. On a widespread scale, different viewpoints and ideologies could be blocked in favor of what an internet provider finds favorable. The information that fills our everyday lives could be misconstrued and reduced to only a fraction of the ideological spectrum. The internet has done wonders to help those become informed of complex political issues regarding race, gender inequality, climate change, and so much more. We cannot allow a company to prevent us from such a fantastic resource. Regardless of political orientation, we all hold the right to assert our views, and companies should not be able to control said assertion.

On a widespread scale, different viewpoints and ideologies could be blocked in favor of what an internet provider finds favorable. The information that fills our everyday lives could be misconstrued and reduced to only a fraction of the ideological spectrum. The internet has done wonders to help those become informed of complex political issues regarding race, gender inequality, climate change, and so much more. We cannot allow a company to prevent us from such a fantastic resource.”

The possible profit from dismantling Net Neutrality is an opportunity not even the most charitable company could pass up. If a company blocks a certain website, they will either face backlash or lose customers. A solution for this is making certain internet access packages for individual functions, like $5.99 for video streaming or $7.99 for social media. The power of money trumps ethics in this scenario. It can be inferred that once given the chance, companies will run at the opportunity of more profit despite unpopular opinion.

Our days start and end with technology- we talk, read, watch, find directions and even pay with our phones. But the impacts of the internet exceed farther. Our everyday communication is intertwined with internet jargon, from the normalized use of “tweet” or the transformation of the search website “google” into a verb of its own. For us teens engrossed in internet culture, half of our conversations include Vine references, and “likes” on instagram are more than just a shallow obsession with self worth; we are wholeheartedly attached to the internet, and it defines our culture. We live and swear by it, and while there are cons to that, it does not mean that such an attachment should be disregarded. To take away the basic right to equal delivery of the internet is a direct attack on today’s youth. We use the internet the most, so what better way to shut down the voice of the youth than by destroying the integrity of the internet? It may be a stretch, but it is important to consider the extremes when so much could be at stake.

I love the internet just the way it is. I do not need a corporation’s hands all over my access to information. Net Neutrality is important, and if the vote passes to dismantle it, our lives will change for the worse.

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