Why your broke ass should care that net neutrality was repealed by the FCC

Prepare to pay an extra fee to tweet what you overheard a frat bro say in Berk

While you were studying and stressing over finals, you probably didn't notice that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal Net Neutrality. ICYMI, that's the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet exactly the same, no matter what website or what platform.

Without net neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast and Verizon can charge you for using certain websites or platforms.

Broke college students like us wouldn't be able to afford all of the social media we use today. That means no more snapchatting your friends the weird squirrel you found on campus or tweeting about what you overheard some frat guys talking about at Berk.

These things we take for granted now and have been for our entire lives would suddenly be taken away.

You might think that since you're already paying for Netflix and Spotify premium, it's not a huge deal to pile on a few more $10 subscriptions. Well slow down there, because money isn't the only thing you'll lose.

With net neutrality out the window, these ISPs can now control what you see. If they don't like what you or someone else writes or creates, they can just hide it from everyone.

This directly goes against the First Amendment, the protection of free speech. Twitter could get much less political, news might never break, and they could get rid of porn if they really wanted to.

I'm not kidding, this is all very possible. These ISPs have total control. Let's not be naive, they must want this total control for a reason, and this reason is most likely more than just money.

Don't lose all hope, though. There IS a silver lining. Google and Netflix are on our side to fight the good fight.

Google released a statement saying "We will work with other net neutrality supporters large and small to promote strong, enforceable protections." They also have a website specifically to take action.

Netflix, also showing their support of net neutrality, tweeted this today:

New York's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman is already preparing a multi-state lawsuit against the FCC.

Schneiderman stated "The FCC just gave Big Telecom an early Christmas present, by giving internet service providers yet another way to put corporate profits over consumers. Today’s rollback will give ISPs new ways to control what we see, what we do, and what we say online.”

Congress has a 60-day window to act against the FCC's decision, so take advantage of that. Do you really want to pay to see what happens next in Stranger Things?

You can write and call Congress to continue to fight for net neutrality here

UMass Amherst