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Is net neutrality good or bad? Show more Show less

Net neutrality is the idea that internet providers must not treat websites differently. All websites, irrespective of their content, equipment, or location must be treated with the same priority and speed. For net neutrality’s proponents, it is essential for preserving the internet’s commitment to information sharing and the establishment of a level playing field for all participants, but what are the pros and cons of net neutrality?

Net neutrality is good Show more Show less

Net neutrality prevents internet providers from becoming the gatekeepers of competition, information, and morality in the digital space.
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Net neutrality promotes the exchange of information

The internet was originally built as an information exchange. Net neutrality promotes the exchange of information, thereby protecting the internet's core function.
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Context

At its core, the internet was designed to be a place of information exchange and open communication. Net neutrality promotes the exchange of information.

The Argument

No matter how small your blog or news site, under net neutrality laws, internet providers cannot block your content or reduce your reach. The implications of this on citizen’s ability to share information are far-reaching. Marginalized communities can ensure their voices are heard and stories are told online. Large, multinational corporations can be held to account—and the telecom providers can be openly criticized on their platforms.[1] Without net neutrality, there would be nothing to stop a telecommunications conglomerate blocking its customers from accessing sites that were openly criticizing their services, or blocking content at the behest of a government or private entity.

Counter arguments

The role of the internet has changed. What was originally designed to allow universities to exchange research has been hijacked by an abundance of false and misleading information. With such a wealth of 'fake news', the unfettered spread of information is no longer good for society. We suffer from a glut of information, but a dearth of verifiable information. Net neutrality would allow internet providers to silence those that have a history of spreading false information. It would be a way of cleaning up the quality of information by reducing the quantity of unverified information. This would be good for society at large, even if it is not good for the internet.

Framing

The internet's core function is to enable to spread of information. Anything that furthers this objective is 'good'.

Premises

[P1] The uninhibited spread of information is one of the internet's core functions. [P2] Therefore, anything that furthers this objective is 'good' for the internet. [P3] Net neutrality helps the flow of information online. [P4] Therefore, net neutrality is good.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The internet's role has changed. [Rejecting P4] What is good for the internet is not good for society.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.itpro.co.uk/strategy/28115/the-pros-and-cons-of-net-neutrality

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This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Mar 2020 at 11:15 UTC