Priorities can be hard to prioritize. In a world where there are multiple wars, Ebola outbreaks, wildfires, droughts, massive political corruption, famine, floods etc; celebrity gossip, cat videos, memes, and ironic gifs rule the media and our attention spans. More people vote for reality television talent competitions than in elections. So it is with the utmost pleasant surprise to find that America has tangibly and measurably decided that the future of net neutrality is more important than a female pop singer exposing her nipple at a football game.
Remember Nipplegate? If you don’t, you’re lucky or young or both. Well up until this month, that issue was the event that the FCC received the most complaints about in their history. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson decided that a Sunday evening musical performance during halftime at the most watched television event in history (at the time) was a good time to expose one of Jackson’s nipples covered in a silver pasty. Middle America freaked out and a wrath of censorship followed. One of the many side effects of this was Howard Stern moving to satellite radio.
Well move over ten-year old musical performance, because something that actually matters has taken your place at the top of the heap! The future of net neutrality, which literally will affect every person in America who uses the internet, is now the most commented topic in the history of the Federal Communications Commission.
The people have spoken, the 99% wants the open internet to remain as is. It is positively refreshing to see so many people speak up and speak out about something of such grave importance. Remember just because many people use the internet to fuel procrastination, narcissism, and vices doesn’t mean those are the only uses for the internet. The open internet is vitally important to the present and future of our society and culture.
What will the FCC do now that the people of spoken? Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are hoping to use lobbying based leverage to gain complete control over the world wide web. This issue is a true litmus test between who has more power in the world going forward; the 1% or the 99%. Whichever way the FCC ends up going, whether people know it or not, we all have a horse in this race.