NewCo Shift
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NewCo Shift

Money Quote Tuesday Nov. 21 2017

The FCC and Net Neutrality: Once Again, We Must Raise Our Voices.

We’re all tired of this endless battle. But if you make your living in any way through the Internet, you have to strap it on once more.

I’m tired. Worn down. In need of a Thanksgiving break. For more than a year the news has been relentless, and relentlessly bad. Are you worn down as well? Are you numb? Inured?

I bet you are.

But we must rouse ourselves, all over again, to have yet another fight we thought we already won. For this Thanksgiving, as most of us take a long-deserved rest to count our diminishing blessings, the FCC plans to gut net neutrality. And we simply can’t take this one lying down.

Look, we all knew this was coming — Trump won, Trump is a kleptocrat, and Trump put Ajit Pai, a classic anti-regulatory conservative, in charge of the FCC. So the content of today’s news is not a surprise:

What is a surprise is how the FCC is going about it. First of all, it stood up a public comment process, then stood by as it was usurped by wave after wave of fraudulent submissions, nearly all of which supported Pai’s POV. If that makes you think, just a little bit, of Russian bots flooding the social media zone for Trump, well, yeah. Me too. And when the New York Attorney General began an investigation into the illegal use of American’s identity to submit fraudulent comments, the FCC refused to work with him. No, really. That’s a true story. Here’s the AG’s letter to the FCC on the issue:

Honestly, this is beyond OK. I’m so angry just about the abrogation of law and accountibility, I’ve almost forgotten that while undermining the public’s right to express an honest point of view is sinful in a free democracy, the abolishment of net neutrality is in fact far, far worse. I won’t go over all the arguments, because you can read my rant on the subject from…Lord….just a few months ago:

Oh, and running to 11 on the craven bullsh*t scale is the fact that the FCC is going to drop news of its plan to kill net neutrality on Thanksgiving Eve. When half the world is traveling to Grandma’s house, and the other half is at home drinking bourbon and trying to ignore the erosion of our society’s norms for One F*cking Day.

So, yes, honestly, all I want to do is pour a Very Large Glass of Bourbon and join the rest of you in ignorant, drunken bliss. But before I do, and before you do, please, please, do this:

And this:

Call your Congressperson! Tell them you don’t want the Internet to become just like 1990s cable TV. Tell them you don’t want the next crop of startups to be held for ransom by an oligarchy. It sucks to have to fight ALL. THE. TIME. But fight we must, and fight we will.

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John Battelle

John Battelle

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A Founder of The Recount, NewCo, Federated Media, sovrn Holdings, Web 2 Summit, Wired, Industry Standard; writer on Media, Technology, Culture, Business