The free exchange of ideas lies at the root of our democracy. The printing press allowed Common Sense by Thomas Paine to ferment the American Revolution and Uncle Tom’s Cabin elevated the abolitionist movement. In our modern world, you no longer need a printing press to share ideas, just your phone or a computer. This further democratization of communication is allowing those who previously had no voice, like the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements, to echo through our nation like never before and have a real impact on national policies.
Now, corporate greed threatens to undo the progress we have make and silence these voices. With yesterday’s vote by Republican appointees to repeal Federal Communications Commission rules on Net Neutrality, the big communications corporations are getting to create a tiered system where their content or those who are willing to pay will be delivered faster than others. This will start with the slowing down or blocking of their competitors’ sites, but it could result in the picking and choosing of what ideas you get to see.
We already see this in the Fox and Sinclair networks, that are owned by arch-conservative families who limit what ideas get seen on their TV networks. Donald Trump’s FCC chair wants to loosen restrictions on media consolidation so a handful of companies control the vast majority of content and the delivery of information.
Net Neutrality has prevented these companies from censoring what you can see by requiring communications companies to treat all content the same. The end of Net Neutrality is part of a systematic push by Donald Trump and the Republicans to hobble our democratic institutions and further consolidate wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people.
This has to stop, and I pledge to author or co-sponsor legislation to restore Net Neutrality once I am elected. Please join me in this fight!