Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hello Teen Resisters! This week got off to a great start, with Doug Jones' victory in Alabama. However, some bad news followed. Yesterday, the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality. You've probably been seeing things all over social media, so we're here for the rundown and the action to take. Don't get it twisted: we still have time to turn it around. The bill may have been passed, but there's a lot to do to stop it from being implemented.
NOTE: We'd love to reiterate: calling your senators DOES make a difference. Their staff listen to every message and read every fax and report back to their bosses.
What even is net neutrality?
83% of Americans support Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the principle that internet and cable companies should not be able to control or see the content that you look at online. At its core, it's our right to communicate freely online. As Free Press reports, "It ensures that internet service providers (ISP) like Verizon, AT&T, etc. provide us with open networks — and that they do not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company cannot and should not decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP cannot and should not interfere with the content you view or post online." Without Net Neutrality, the internet could be divided into fast and slow lanes, with anyone who cannot afford the fast part being forced to have crappy internet access. Companies could also block opinions they disagree with (Prime example: Before Net Neutrality, Verizon blocked NARAL Pro-Choice America from sending text updates because they are "controversial").
What will it affect?
As you very well know, the internet is a huge component of our world. It is the way we get news, it helps small businesses, it spreads ideas, it helps people get resources and organize movements. The removal of Net Neutrality will also affect marginalized communities. The internet has served as an incredible resource for people of color, religious minorities and LGBTQ+ people often depend on the internet for resources, connections, organization and to fight against oppression. Not only that, but social media itself transcends social groups and has helped people from so many different places and cultures learn about each other. It is an emblem of free speech, and while it obviously has its faults, it should not be classed. That will change everything.
Why should i care?
Firstly, you might have to pay extra for your internet and social media. Your content will load slower, it will be blocked (like on school wifi, but all the time!) and your social media experience will change and so will the people you interact with. In the words of Highly Indy's Betty Kubovy-Weiss, "Without the FCC maintaining Internet traffic equality, the service companies will be able to regulate the speeds and prices of specific content, giving them the ability to censor whatever material gives them financial and political gain." It's ironic that conservatives talk about a divided America but pass a bill that will make your social media experience even more of a bubble. If people can't afford social media, it will be a very privileged place to be. Also- America is a democracy. So it seems like BS that if 83% of us support Net Neutrality, 3 Republicans in the FCC can repeal it.
What happened to net neutrality?
Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, used to be a Verizon lawyer. Including him, three of the five members of the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality. Note, once again, that 83% of Americans disagree with this.
What you can do:
The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to reverse this act. We have 60 days.
Share this list on your social media to spread the word! We are looking to spread truthful, comprehensive news and ways to speak out and that starts with student support.
Most important websites:
Highly Indy Article
Petitions: Super Quick and Easy (Less than 1 minute)! ACLU Petition to tell Congress to pressure the reversing of this policy; Free Press Petition
Tweet undecided reps: Less than 1 minute. On battleforthenet.com, they have a way to tweet any undecided reps.
Writing Letters w/ Battle for the Net: 2 minutes. battleforthenet.com. At the top.
RESIST Bot: About 3-5 minutes. You've undoubtedly seen posts telling you to text RESIST to 50409 or message RESIST Bot on Facebook. Do it! It's a really easy way to reach your representatives about any topic. Once you're done entering your info, copy and paste this script at their prompting:
Script (please edit and add to this as you see fit!)
I am a student who depends on free internet to function and succeed in and outside of my school, and with the repeal of net neutrality, my personal freedoms as a student and individual on the internet are being taken away.
So yes -- net neutrality has been repealed, but we can still fight back with your platform and support. Please use your office and voice to speak out and demand a congressional review of the repeal. This is what the CRA was made for. I strongly urge you to exercise that right.
Thank you in advance for protecting your constituents' rights and helping save the internet!
Calling Congress: About 5-7 minutes. Text BATTLE to 384-387 to be connected to your reps OR call 202-224-3121. Read BFTN's script or the one above. BONUS POINTS: Call Republican or Conservative congresspeople to let them know.
Email or call the FCC: The FCC is what is behind this and calling/emailing them will help a lot. Visit https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact to write or call leadership or leave a comment.
DOG VID OF WEEK: In honor of this week's list, a dog using the internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAmSbvNELLg
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