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The Rundown

Reddit Users Exposed Elected Officials Selling Out on Net Neutrality by Taking Over the Site's Front Page

Your guide to net neutrality, what's working, what's not, and which members of congress took money from anti-net neutrality lobbyists.

by Aaron Barksdale
Dec 5 2017, 4:00pm

Image via Reddit

In anticipation of the FCC’s vote on upholding net neutrality laws, angry Reddit users decided to take action to show the rest of the internet just how high the stakes are. On Friday, December 1, the social media site’s front page — normally home to memes, gifs and random articles— was plastered with the information of members of congress who took money from anti-net neutrality lobbyists.

One of the top posts under the /r/all screen was about Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, featuring a photo of the senator with an expression that looks as if he just said “ruh-roh.” The post by reddit user SLthrOwaway11 reads, “This is my Senator, Ron Johnson, He sold me, my fellow Wisconsinites, and this nation to the telecom lobby for the prices of $123,652.” At the time of publishing this article, the post has received over 59 thousand up votes.

Subsequent posts call out Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Arizona Senator John McCain, Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and other members in Congress. All the posts used a similar format introducing an elected official, then stating how much they received from telecom companies to “sell out” their constituents how much a repeal of net neutrality will impact them.

Under Obama-era guidelines, internet service providers (ISPs) were required to follow a policy of net neutrality that guarantees equal treatment of all web traffic content. However, President Trump’s chief of the Federal Communication Commission Ajit Pai, who also used to work for Verizon, is on a mission to repeal net neutrality for good.

If Congress kills net neutrality it would be the end of the internet as we know it, and ISPs would be able to favor some content over others without any legal ramifications. They’d also be able to monitor internet users and the sites that they visit. Dropping net neutrality regulations means that ISPs will essentially be policing themselves, which poses the same problem as students grading their own homework.

Reddit is filled with more examples of outraged net neutrality supporters exposing their elected officials under the net neutrality subreddit, and the list shows no signs of stopping. Users are also voicing their dissent by encouraging people to take action to make sure net neutrality remains protected.

If you believe that ISPs shouldn’t be able to destroy net neutrality, then support the cause by showing up to one of the Verizon protests planned on December 7. Also, contact your elected official either by phone or email to let them know how you feel about the issue.