The Rundown

People Are Mobilizing To Defend The Right To A Free Internet

Your daily guide to what’s working, what’s not and what you can do about it.
July 11, 2017, 4:29pm
Photo via Flickr user Stacie Isabella Turk/Ribbonhead

The FCC won't let me be: Eminem warned us years ago about the overreach of the Federal Communication Commission, and now the government agency is once again poised to go a step too far in trying to eliminate net neutrality. Basically, net neutrality is the idea that everything online should be available to everyone without the meddling of Internet service providers blocking, censoring or favoring some sites over others. Tons of companies from PornHub to Amazon (to VICE Impact) have given their support to protecting the freedom of the Internet. Tomorrow, Wednesday July 12, is the Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. Fight for the Future has a campaign called "Battle For The Net" that's empowering people to take action on the issue. Sign up here to join the protest and keep control of your browsing history.


Bridging the gap: Homelessness is a major issue for the trans community and social services aren't always equipped with the resources to help. But there's good news, a group of LGBTQ activists in LA is reaching out to Hollywood's homeless transgender community. These volunteers started a program called "Midnight Stroll" that offers late-night HIV testing and other health services to transgender individuals. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five trans people in the US have faced housing discrimination when looking for a home and more than one in ten have been evicted because of their gender identity. Take action today to support the efforts to protect the rights of transgender people, including housing and more.

Istanbul is burning: Last year a group of soldiers attempted to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a failed military coup. The casualties from the uprising resulted in 290 deaths and more than 1,400 people who were injured. Since then the Turkish government has become even more authoritarian, cracking down on citizen freedoms and people are saying enough is enough. On Sunday, the opposition party to Erdogan's leadership led a massive rally in protest of the "one-man rule" that seized the country after last year's rebellion. The rally was finale of a 25-day march from Ankara to Istanbul in the campaign to end the government crackdown.

Higher learning under fire: According to a report from the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of Republicans and right-leaning independents feel that higher learning has a detrimental effect on America. In contrast, 72 percent of Democrats and left-leaners think that colleges and universities are a good things. In recent years, places of higher education have become political hotbeds often not favoring conservative ideals, which could be a reason for the GOP snub. Despite the Republican anti-college view, the report showed the public remains unswayed that a college degree is still valuable, especially in the age of automation and an uncertain job future.

Rescue rover: A bill with bipartisan support may seem farfetched, but animal rights advocates at the Humane Society have managed to herd politicians on both sides of the aisle to agree on a bill that helps veterans get service animals to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Paws Act, yes it's really named that, has gained momentum in the House as lawmakers recognize the healing power of puppies. In statement to The Hill, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the US Humane Society said, "At a time in a country when we are so polarized, this is a set of issues that we can unite around." Hear, hear.

Clash of the Internets: With the death of print, journalism has had to heavily rely on social networks to distribute their content, primarily Google and Facebook, which has made it hard for the industry to meet bottom lines and fight off fake news. Now, news organizations --like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post-- are asking Congress to step in and put rules in place that protect journalism. The President and Chief Exec of News Media Alliance David Chavern said the goals for petitioning the government to take action are better protection for intellectual property, more support for subscription models, and a share of both revenue and data. Given the anti-press climate in Washington and a President who's obsessed with social media, it's uncertain whether or not the news' industry's request will be favorable.