July 7, 2017
The internet can be a pretty combative place. Between Facebook threads and YouTube comment sections, you could read a hundreds ad hominem attacks before you even have a chance to post something yourself. This kind of staunch opposition is common on social media, which makes a group consensus that much more significant. And if there’s one issue everyone can get behind, it’s the importance of net neutrality.
More than 100 prominent YouTube creators with more than 165 million collective subscribers have penned an open letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in hopes of conveying their concerns about the future of net neutrality. It specifies that not protecting the laws in place could have “an outsized impact on our field and jeopardize our livelihood.”
“Strong, enforceable net neutrality protections are essential to ensure leading figures in online video can continue revolutionizing media and to give opportunities for new voices to gain momentum,” said Laura Chernikoff, Executive Director of the Internet Creators Guild, in a press release. “Otherwise, deep-pocketed media giants who can afford privileged, fast lane access to customers would empowered to drown out the dynamic and growing industry of internet creators.”
These YouTube creators, including Benny Fine of FineBrothersEntertainment (15 million subscribers), Dane Boedigheimer of Annoying Orange (15 million subscribers), and Ned Fulmer of BuzzFeedVideo (12.6 million subscribers), are not the only ones taking a stand when it comes to net neutrality. A major protest, backed by the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Reddit, and many more, is planned for July 12th with the aim of creating awareness and spurring action. They hope to protect the one thing keeping the internet open to everyone for the sake of innovation and economic growth.
“A threat to net neutrality is a threat to the free exchange of ideas that creative culture and an informed public rely upon,” said Michal Rosenn, General Counsel at Kickstarter.
If you don’t realize how valuable net neutrality is, we don’t know what to tell you at this point. Whether you’re a startup that wants to compete with the big dogs or a YouTube creator that doesn’t want to pay extra fees just to get comparable traffic, net neutrality is not something to cast aside as another menial issue on the political landscape. In a country driven by tech, net neutrality is the last stand for those that still want to be free.
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