The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.
The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc.and others.
These regulations were really designed to bolster social media companies and tech monopolies like Google and Facebook. It wouldn’t surprise me that Google’s parent company Alphabet would be vehemently opposed to this roll back of regulations, as they have benefited greatly and has put them up against Comcast for the viewership/user market share.
Millions of cable subscribers are ditching their services and consuming large amounts of video content via the internet. Where Comcast is both an Internet Service Provider and purveyor of entertainment (they own NBC Universal and Hulu), Net Neutrality regulations have prevented them from putting the squeeze on its online content competitors, namely Netflix. If we are going to stop the service providers from creating monopolies over the system, something should be done to reign in Google and Facebook. Both companies are known for manipulating search results and trending content, going as far as blocking some content from search altogether.
The Social Media giants have been allowed to grow to an almost unimaginable size and have their hands all over content creating and content distribution. YouTube is still the largest video sharing platform on the internet and is poised to remain so despite its ever more restrictive monetization standards. There are some websites out there vying to take some of YouTube’s user base however none have yet to make a significant dent.
Facebook has decided it needs to be the thought police and Twitter has become almost unusable as the company continues to oppress free speech.
I’m not sure what the Trump Administration’s true motive is with this, however, something has to be done about Google’s targeted censorship of conservative voices. Google has been caught time and time again manipulating its search algorithms. It can be argued that these tech giants are in the position to influence up coming elections.
If these social media giants wish to be treated as a utility, they should abide by the same standards of accessibility as any other utility does (power, water), and not force their political and social views on their user base.
YouTube also does its fair share of censorship, manipulating algorithms to censor Alex Jones and Infowars along with a host of other conservative YouTube channels. In all honesty, it would seem as if YouTube punishes anyone that does not share their political ideology or subscribe to their brand of cultural Marxism.
I personally have my videos demonetized minutes after uploading, the new political correctness filters are making it undesirable to monetize content on YouTube, leaving thousands of content creators to seek revenue through companies like Patreon.
The real question is, how much longer will users tolerate increased censorship and cultural Marxism?
As the months go by there is an ever-increasing number of social media companies touting themselves as havens of free speech. Sites like Gab.ai, Voat.co, and Minds.com are all great places to find little to no censorship. Trust me, it makes for an interesting and colorful experience.
I predict that this move by the FCC is going to spark a massive war between the social media and search giants and the Trump Administration. Millions of users will continue migrating to alternative social media websites in an attempt to evade restrictive censorship practices.