11.Nov.2014 AngryBeavs Supports Net Neutrality
This post pertains to the future of AB website and other websites you likely enjoy reading.
The idea that Comcast et al can limit the speed you see a website, or limit you entirely from seeing content goes beyond disturbing. For those who don’t think anything bad can happen, it already has. Click this link to read about AT&T banning Pearl Jam content. There are many other examples. Look around if you’re interested.
A little background on how the front end of internet currently works. If you are logged into Google and provided real credentials then they know your name, age, location, past search results (super creepy), etc. If you used fake credentials, they still know your location via IP address and past search results from that IP. What Google then does is tailor your search results to your metrics and your past searches. On top of this, if net neutrality fails we’ll have Comcast et al limiting the (a) speed you see this content or (b) whether you see it at all. Never trade convenience for freedom.
In that light, let’s take this hypothetical example:
Say a Beaver fan types in “Fire Mike Riley” into Google. Assuming he is not logged in and gets past Google’s tailoring of results, he now has to get past Comcast. Say a Riley family member works at Comcast, and that person doesn’t want him fired. Or say that Comcast takes the general stance there will be no dissent against the current administration. The user might never find angrybeavs.com (which is currently in my top 10 results for that phrase). Instead, the user might get a result from Beaverblitz where they are talking about firing Mike Riley, but in a tongue-in-cheek way that mocks actual dissenters. The point being the results can be tailored to control you. It is already happening via Google (you would be wise to delete all Google accounts and use startpage or duckduckgo, which do not track you). For a read on how Google currently “personalizes” (that sounds so much nicer than controls, doesn’t it?) your results click here. So while this example with AB is pretty ridiculous, you can see how it becomes detrimental when a user is searching for social or political information.
If you support net neutrality, and you should if you want to keep reading ABs and threatening/informative/dissenting sites like it, then you should go here and sign the petition. Get loud, raise hell, make noise. If you can get off your ass for a meaningless football game then you should be able to get up for this much more important cause. AB will never be repressed or suppressed [unless lazy, uninformed assholes allow it] and shudders at the thought of it!