Things That Matter

Here Is Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality, Especially If You Are Reading This On Facebook

On Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is voting on whether or not to do away with net neutrality. The decision to reverse the Obama-era policy allowing for a free and open Internet will have strong and negative results for everyone using the Internet, like you, according to telecommunications experts. The decision comes directly from Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai has already said that he is confident that the measure will be passed on party lines since the five-person FCC panel is made up of three Republicans and two Democrats.

Here is what experts fear will happen to the Internet as we know it if the FCC board votes to take net neutrality away.

First, let’s define net neutrality.

You’ve probably seen this phrase used a lot lately, but what does it even mean? Net neutrality guarantees that Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast, TimeWarner, etc. don’t slow down your service based on their benefit. The rules of net neutrality make it so that all Internet traffic is treated equally. It also ensures that these same ISPs don’t charge you extra to have a faster connection. ISPs fought against President Obama when he first started pushing these rules because they believe that they should be able to charge you more for faster service, according to the PBS video above.

Basically, eliminating net neutrality would mean that ISPs would start regulating what you can do and see on the Internet.

Essentially, this means that Comcast, Verizon and all other ISPs could start charging you extra for apps you already use on top of your monthly bill. You read that right. That Facebook app you are using to read this story would no longer be free and the price will vary depending on your ISP. Same with Netflix, Twitter, Amazon or any other site or app you use. You’d have to pay an additional amount per app/site. That means many people, particularly low-income households, would have a harder time accessing information online.

Another problem with this kind of freedom for the ISPs is that they can start blocking content from reaching your computer for phone. Remember the scandal Comcast was in when they overcharged customers for equipment they never requested? Well, if you use Comcast for your Internet, Comcast could block you from ever seeing the news reports investigating their questionable practices.

While there has been outcry against changing the rules, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the use of fake comments to dilute the pushback.

Fortune reports that more than half of the 21.7 million comments opposed to the rule change have likely been written by fake accounts using the names of real people. The implication of this is that the voices of real Americans opposed to the rule change are being diluted and ignored because of bots and trolls claiming to be in favor of eliminating net neutrality. Attorney General Schneiderman has created a website where you can search and flag any fake comment made on your behalf to help with his overall investigation. You can find out if your name has been used by clicking here. Attorney General Schneiderman created the website because the FCC has refused to help investigate whether or not fake comments have been used in this debate.

Experts fear that giving ISPs the ability to self-regulate data going to consumers can have strong negative impacts.

“ISPs have incentives to shape Internet traffic and the FCC knows full well of instances where consumers have been harmed. AT&T blocked data sent by Apple’s FaceTime software, Comcast has interfered with Internet traffic generated by certain applications and ISPs have rerouted users’ web searches to websites they didn’t request or expect,” Electronic Frontier Foundation Senior Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz said in a statement. “These are just some examples of ISPs controlling our Internet experience. Users pay them to connect to the Internet, not decide for them what they can see and do there.”

Americans are taking to the streets to protest the upcoming vote and save net neutrality.

A study done by The Washington Post shows that an overwhelming number of Americans are in favor of saving net neutrality. Specifically, Americans oppose giving ISPs the power to decide what you can and can’t do or see on the Internet. Members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation argue that protecting free Internet and net neutrality protects free speech.

Well…

If you would like to make your voice heard on net neutrality, you can call FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at (202) 518-7933 or the FCC at (202) 418-1000.


READ: Twitter Ripped Senator Marco Rubio After He Hugged Ivanka Trump And It Was Hilarious

Share this story with all of your friends and take a stand for free and fair Internet access!

This Cartoonist’s Right To Free Speech Is Under Threat As He Loses His Job For A Cartoon About Trump’s Failed Immigration Policies

Things That Matter

This Cartoonist’s Right To Free Speech Is Under Threat As He Loses His Job For A Cartoon About Trump’s Failed Immigration Policies

Michael de Adder / Twitter

Political cartoons often land the artist in hot water – either with the public or their political target. But few could have seen this coming.

A Canadian cartoonist lost a long-term work contract with a news organization for a cartoon that they didn’t even publish.

The Canadian artist created this cartoon and allegedly lost his job because of it.

Credit: @Jason_Chatfield / Twitter

A Canadian cartoonist’s illustration of President Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants went viral last week. Two days later, Michael de Adder said on Twitter that he had been fired by a publishing company in New Brunswick, Canada.

De Adder’s illustration depicted Trump asking the two dead migrants, “Do you mind if I play through?”

The cartoon refers to the image of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lying face down in water surrounded by reeds. The two drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River to get into the United States.

Both the cartoonist’s original piece and the tweet announcing that he had been fired have both gone viral.

The tweet that broke the news of his firing, has nearly 100,000 retweets, almost 200,000 likes, and close to 10,000 comments.

However, De Adder has taken to social media to clarify a few things after all the tweets started going viral.

Credit: @deAdder / Twitter

“The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick,” De Adder tweeted. He later clarified that he had technically been under contract to work for Brunswick News Inc., and wasn’t an employee who could be fired.

In a tweet on Monday, de Adder said he never submitted the cartoon to Brunswick News “for fear that I might be fired.”

He told CNN Business in an interview on Monday that the cartoon ran in the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax on June 29, “after it went viral but before it went supernova.”

He described himself as feeling overwhelmed by the situation. “The way I was let go was swift and fell on the heels of the last refugee cartoon,” de Adder said. “I had every reason to suspect it was over that cartoon. … I was given no reason. I inquired and inquired,” he told CNN Business.

He added: “It was clearly my work. And Trump was always their No. 1 concern with me. Always.” He said he stopped sending Trump cartoons, adding “It got heated every time there was a Trump in the lineup.”

Reactions on Twitter came in fast and furious since de Adder tweeted his cartoon and news of him losing his job first broke.

Credit: @afcoory / Twitter

Like this Twitter user who pointed out the stupidity of the whole situation – that a cartoon upset the President of the United States and resulted in the firing of a journalist. That’s not how things are supposed to happen.

So, as she suggests, make sure you retweet the image so Trump continues to be annoyed by it.

Other’s hoped all the attention would help the artist win a Pulitzer for the cartoon.

Credit: @markmobility / Twitter

We’re sure he wouldn’t have trouble gaining the support of a few people.

And some expressed anger and outrage that the cartoonist depicting Trump’s immigration policies was fired, while the people actually creating the policies have faced zero punishment.

Credit: @renato_mariotti / Twitter

It’s become quite obvious where people’s priorities lay and unfortunately, with the US government, they do not lay with migrants or immigration rights.

Many called out the shocking consequences of simply telling the truth.

Credit: @Jason_Chatfield / Twitter

With all the talk of #fakenews, it’s shocking that when a journalist/artist is telling the truth and calling out the Trump administration for its inhumane and deadly immigration policies, they lose their job.

While many took to Twitter to express their solidarity with de Adder and to stand by his creative expression.

Credit: @nobyrnelaw / Twitter

Other’s were calling for a boycott of the media organization that terminated its contract with de Adder.

READ: Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

Death Threats Have Become Such A Common Occurrence For AOC That She Took To Twitter To Address Them

Things That Matter

Death Threats Have Become Such A Common Occurrence For AOC That She Took To Twitter To Address Them

ocasio2018 / Instagram

It’s no secret that there’s a significant population of Americans who hate freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is something that AOC has had to deal with since first throwing her hat in the ring to run for Congress. That kind of attention has led to very scary and real moments for the New Yorker. As a master of Twitter, AOC has voiced her concerns and is shedding light on what it looks like to be her right now.

In a tweet, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to a video that aired at a Fresno Grizzlies game.

@AOC / Twitter

AOC tweeted the above message in response to a tweet from @CarmenGeorge that read, “I was just watching a really moving #MemorialDay tribute video at the @FresnoGrizzlies game until they got to a part about America’s adversaries and showed a photo of the @AOC between images of Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-un. That was some seriously offensive editing.”

Immediately, the men’s rights activists chimed in.

@Brian60days / Twitter

It’s apparently sexist for a woman to announce that all her daily death threats come from men. Yes. Yes, it is sexist, but not for the reason @Brian60days thinks.

AOC goes on to say that she gets an influx of death threats after Fox airs something “particularly aggressive + hateful.”

@AOC / Twitter

Your pedestrian death threats aren’t a high priority for AOC. Only top notch death threats. What kind of morning ritual is that?

AOC finished up her thread by bringing up a long debated topic: free speech.

@AOC / Twitter

The social media universe is filled with people claiming the use of “free speech” as an excuse for hate speech. The ACLU would agree.

Some AOC supporters feel that when that speech incites violence, it should be banned on social media platforms.

@aaram1rez / Twitter

Most platforms have policies that review flagged content to remove violent speech. Twitter user Anna Ramirez thinks voters should use their democratic right to filter violence-inciting elected officials.

In early 2019, AOC came out to defend and support Rep. Ilhan Omar when she was receiving death threats.

@USRealityCheck / Twitter

Remember when Omar was under a magnifying glass and being touted as an anti-Semite for questioning why Palestine has received little to no support from America? The death threats were flooding into her office and voicemail box and AOC defended her.

AOC made sure to let the public know that those death threats are reported to the police.

@AOC / Twitter

People are being arrested almost daily for death threats to Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

When it came out that a right-wing publication sent out an email blast calling AOC a “domestic terrorist,” AOC had something to say.

@Davelevinthal / Twitter

Domestic terrorists are the people who commit acts of terror in their home countries like the mass shootings at movie theaters and mosques. They are not progressive Congresswomen elected to office to do the work demanded by the constituents.

This isn’t the first time AOC has had to comment on receiving death threats.

@AOC / Twitter

“Multiple ppl have been arrested trying to harm me, Ilhan, & others,” AOC tweeted. This rhetoric is dangerous.

Words matter–they are weapons of war.

@AOC / Twitter

Whether that’s to intimidate women whose voices are being heard louder than men’s or to incept women into thinking they aren’t meant to be in that space.

Regardless, AOC isn’t backing down.

@AOC / Twitter

When MAGA people want to belittle AOC or her intelligence, she comes back stronger. We don’t know what your self-care regiment looks like, AOC, but we thank you for staying strong.

READ: AOC Responds To Fresno Grizzlies For Calling Her An ‘Enemy Of Freedom’ Alongside Fidel Castro And Kim Jong Un