The Battle for the Net

One day before the FCC vote on net neutrality, Netflix reminds its Twitter followers about the dangers of Comcast and other ISPs winning the battle. This tweet not only gives an example of the consequences of creating slow lanes on the Internet, it points followers to a site that provides more information. It includes John Oliver’s widely popular segment about net neutrality and provides an opportunity to contact Congress.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 5.22.34 PMI’m on an email list that Reddit uses to sends out information about net neutrality. Today, the email said that we will likely see a win for net neutrality tomorrow, meaning all of this activism paid off. While no decision has been made yet, this message made me wonder if the activism of large, well-known and well-liked companies like Netflix will have had a major impact on the (in my opinion) positive outcome. Netflix probably reaches more people than many of the advocacy organizations specifically made about the issue. Does this mean that in order for an important issue to gain a lot of attention or even to get the desired result, a popular company must support it?

In this case, I’m not sure. Net neutrality is a complicated issue that I imagine confuses many Americans, so it may take an organization like Netflix advocating for it in order for attention to be drawn. On the other hand, net neutrality affects the Internet, which has become a necessity for a majority of Americans, so I can imagine that the issue in itself drew a lot of attention. Either way, I think its good that this issue has gained a decent amount of awareness and activism because its an important one that will affect pretty much any American with Internet access.

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