If I want to post off topic comments on message boards who is Verizon to act like the censorship gatekeeper to prevent me?
Know who else acts like a gatekeeper, censoring what their citizens see and do on the Internet? China. Iran. North Korea. Cuba.
I don’t want to see the United States go down that path. The Internet should be just like speech or print: so long as you aren’t found guilty of infringement on the rights of others in court, you can do whatever you want. Off topic comments don’t infringe on anyone’s rights, and if I really want to post about how the traffic cones ate pierogies while singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in the chocolate rain because Desmond forgot to push the #iranelection button, then that’s my right.
The real push behind the anti-net neutrality is that ISPs want to charge consumers more to access the same Internet. They want to make the Internet like Cable TV, where they can arbitrarily brand certain websites as “premium content” and charge you extra to access them. Yahoo might be free, but Google? That’s an extra $5 a month. Like iTunes more than Amazon? That’s too bad, because we signed a behind the $cenes deal with Amazon and that means we have to charge extra for you to access iTunes. Want to access websites of non-profit organizations? Sorry, we’ll make them load really slow because they don’t give us financial kickbacks.
This may make sense with Cable TV, where starting a television station takes millions of dollars, but the Internet is much more intrinsically democratic. All it takes is a $5 domain name, internet connection, and a computer, and you can post whatever you want on a website for all the world to read (although you may have a melted lump of plastic if they all want to read it at the same time!). Any attempt at scuttling net neutrality, thereby opening up behind-the-scenes deals between ISPs and and the content providers for financial kickbacks will only hurt the little guys, the small businesses, the non-profit organizations, and anyone without the $$$ to be considered “premium”.
There used to be this thing called segregation. If a business decided they were racist and didn’t want to serve “colored” people at a “white” seating area in a restaurant, or that “colored” people had to give up their seats on a bus or streetcar for white people, they were allowed to do so under Plessy v. Ferguson. Then the Civil Rights movement made this rightfully illegal.
How exactly is a company deciding that ‘not allowing pictures of dinosaur bones’ is okay because they’re anti-evolution any different than a company deciding that not allowing “colored” people to sit in the front of the bus is okay because they’re racist? Discrimination is discrimination.