Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Does Net Neutrality = Sinister Government Plot to Control our Actions?


For those of you who aren't aware of the net neutrality debate going on, i'll give you a brief, yet biased, recap.

To have net neutrality is to allow every single website on the Internet the same equal privileges. Nobody's website gets special treatment because he/she/it has more money than others. More specifically, nobody's website loads faster than others just because he/she/it has more money.

I know, we live in a capitalist society and the people with less money should fall through the cracks and be pushed off the world wide web (sarcasm). I know this, but for some reason, i just don't feel comfortable being the person with the stick pushing them through (nor do i feel comfortable being pushed through the cracks by someone with a stick). On a side note, i understand that this is already happening......kind of. When you google someone, the person with the most hits is first, but there is always a list on the right hand side of "sponsored links", or links that people pay money to have show up. I'm okay with this because of the two lists. As long as people have a chance to be a number one hit, regardless of money, i feel good about the current system.

The problem with steering away from net neutrality is that the Internet, even with regulations, is the communications medium of choice in regards to free speech. You can literally say anything you want. I think that's a really important aspect of the Internet, regardless of all the messed up, craziness that is posted. It's that kind of freedom that is truly inspiring. Yes. people can libel you. People can post inappropriate pictures, but that same freedom allows you to post religious stories, political arguments and anything else that you enjoy.

Net neutrality isn't about the government controlling our lives. For instance, the government has their hands in what we view, but it's still run by the people. You don't believe me? What would happen if a show aired that had a gratuitous sex scene, and nobody complained? Do you think the FCC would take it off the air? Do you think they'd fine the the network that aired it? No, they wouldn't do a thing. They'd most definitely expect people to complain, but if nobody did, no actions would be taken and more scenes of the like would begin to air. I just don't understand how keeping things equal on the Internet would lead to the government taking over. I mean, i would if i was a fear monger, but i'm not, so i don't. Let's be honest. If the government really wanted to control everything, they'd be able to, regardless of whether or not the internet stayed neutral.

Next topic - Fear Mongers: why they are usually a detriment to society.


MindySue said...

I see your point and agree with parts of it. However, it's not just sponsors or money that put people at the top of the google hit list. On the negative side - It's little things like meta-tags that, if you are tricky, you can put into your html code to MAKE you first. On the plus side - it's also based on the number of hits your site receives (or the likelihood that people are looking for you). When I started Reading for Sanity, we wouldn't show up on any search engine. Slowly I learned to put words in my posts like "book club suggestions" or "top ten adult fiction reads" that would be more likely to be picked up by a search engine. The more people visited my site the higher up it climbed. Now it shows up on google and not just when you type "Reading For Sanity" but "reading book review blog" or something like that. I did this all without any money invested in it whatsoever and NO sponsors. So I don't think that your place on the google list is entirely determined by the amount of money you have, but by various other factors.

Matthew said...

I must have been hard to follow, due to my inability to formulate ideas correctly. I do agree with you and i know that's how it works, but if you'll look on the right hand side of google, there is a second short column of "sponsored links". You are a great example of why the current system works and we shouldn't mess with it, but privatizing networks.
ps, i'm proud that you worked your way to the top because people like you.

Brent said...

I think that we should also have photo neutrality. Why should one photographer get his photos in a magazine when others don't. Maybe the guy with his photos in national geographic got them in there because he had more money to learn photography at a better school, could buy better equipment, and afford to travel the world building his portfolio. The other guy didn't have money to do all those things, and he should have and equal opportunity to have his pictures published. Maybe his pictures really suck and are even in partial color but that isn't really the point. We should be forced to look at both photos, in the name of fairness. I love you Maximum!

Matthew said...

All i'm asking is that the Internet remain how it is because it's working great, except for facebook. that freezes on me sometimes. I think if we privatize the networks and such, then things are going to get messed up.