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

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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

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He Had To Stay Silent In Mexico As His Father Smuggled Him To The US From Guatemala Or They'd Lose Everything

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He Had To Stay Silent In Mexico As His Father Smuggled Him To The US From Guatemala Or They’d Lose Everything

Courtesy of The Moth

The group had to stay silent while traveling through Mexico so they wouldn’t get caught.

Nestor Gomez was only 10 years old when his parents fled Guatemala for the United States. It was 1980 and the civil war in the Central American country was tearing the nation apart. His parents had to make the decision to leave their children behind with family as they worked and saved money in the U.S. They planned to go back to Guatemala to get their children, but the war changed those plans. The violence had increased and they realized it was not safe to go back and live in Guatemala so they decided to bring the children to the U.S. Gomez was 15 years old when his father returned to bring his children to the U.S. They couldn’t wait for visas for the children so the parents only had one option and that was to smuggle the children through Mexico and across the border.

“This was going to be a dangerous undertaking. Not only because at that time I was 15 years old now, but because my middle brother was five years younger than me and my other brother was ten years younger than me. He was just a little baby,” Gomez recalls. “But also because my sister and a friend of hers who was tagging along were both teenagers. As such, they could be victims of sexual assault along the way.”

Gomez’ story is filled with moments of suspense, fear and triumph as the group makes their way to the U.S. An unexpected encounter with Mexican immigration officials and a greedy coyote threaten to sabotage their run for freedom from a grueling civil war. Yet, nothing can stop this group of immigrants from chasing their dreams. The journey tests the children and their father as they discover secrets and hidden plans.


READ: A Millennial Guatemalan Artist Gave Lotería Cards The Millennial Treatment And They Are Hilarious

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