The President of the United States gets much of the credit for enacting his (and hopefully one day her) agenda. But, by and large, they mainly set the philosophy or give the orders. It’s their appointees and the staffers of appointees that do the dirty work.
Whether it’s the neo-liberalism of the Clinton years, the warmongering and deregulation of the Bush era or the vengeful corruption of Trump, there’ve always been water people to carry that weight.
Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC and that cool guy who quotes “The Big Lebowski” on Twitter and drinks from a super fancy mug, will be rolling back Title II rules on Net Neutrality despite widespread public opposition. This is a nightmare for consumers. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are already gigantic corporations with awful service and almost no accountability.
Rolling back regulations on pricing packages will make things far worse. Instead of charging consumers a flat fee for a fixed rate of Internet service/speed, corporations can now price by website, slowing down or speeding up sites as they deem appropriate. If there were an anti-Verizon or anti-Comcast blog, those respective ISPs could very well slow down access speeds to dial up levels for folks attempting to access those sites. It’s a nightmare for free speech, something (for better or worse) that is a hallmark of the Internet.
It’s not the only recent radical action in the life of Pai. He also approved a rollback of market regulations for media companies that will allow organizations like the radical Sinclair Broadcast Group to expand their propaganda style influencing tactics in American homes.
In an era where the very concept of truth is under attack, it is more important than ever to be aware of gaslighting and stay away from it. These corporations are here to make money, not to return power to the hands of the people. They’ll spread all of the falsehoods they can about immigrants, religious minorities and people of color in order to keep their cash cows in power.
Don’t let them. We need to demand municipal broadband now. This will provide consumers with better pricing, better service and more accountability.