Net Neutrality is the principle that internet providers (ISP's) should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, internet freedom groups and 3.7 million individual comments won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Those rules prohibit internet providers from blocking, throttling and paid prioritization fast lanes for sites that pay and slow lanes for everyone else.
The protest idea of sites, forums and individuals going black for a day to show support and demonstrate what an internet without neutrality would look like came in concept from Aaron Swartz. The first Day of Darkness was a direct response to his death and the actions of the US Department of Justice against him. The most common reasons given to demand net neutrality remains in place revolve around censorship and the blocking of content by ISP's. It is a righteous cause, free speech and expression are supposedly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the US and by similar conventions around the world. The list of internet heavyweight content providers and services that are on side with the protest show the depth of the forces to maintain net neutrality.
But there is an obvious result of removing net neutrality that seems to be lost in the discussion focused on rights of the individual. It would result in the complete monetization of "truth". Citizens United has shown what happens when money equals voice. You want to be heard? How much money do you have. Is your position truthful? How much money do you have. The promotion of "truth" has a price tag, whatever it may be. You think opinion is sold as truth now? Just wait.
Jonathon Nichols (@wvualphasoldier) returns once more to help work our way through what the real motivations to remove net neutrality may be and the line it would cross.
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