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Net neutrality is a hot topic right now, especially in the United States where President Obama has waded into the debate over the future of the Internet. We care more about your views on net neutrality than the views of any world leader. Welcome to the MakeUseOf Poll.

Facebook Photo Fanatics

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Do You Share Your Photos Online?

Out of a total of 320 votes, 21.3% chose Facebook, 16.6% chose Google+, 14.1% chose Flickr, 9.7% chose Instagram, 8.4% chose Dropbox, 0.9% chose Twitter, 0.9% chose Tumblr, 14.1% chose Other, and 14.1% chose I Never Share My Photos Online.

Facebook won by a clear but insignificant margin over Google+. Flickr, Instagram, and Dropbox are clearly all popular options as well. However, the most interesting result may just be the number of people who claim never to share photos online.

Is this a stance against the culture of oversharing that’s becoming increasingly common? It could, of course, be more of a generational thing, as youngsters who have grown up in the age of the Internet have no compunction sharing every aspect of their lives online.

photo-sharing-online-poll-results

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Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Rick How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] With so many options available, we want to know how you personally share your photos online. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More , Antonio Gil How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] With so many options available, we want to know how you personally share your photos online. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More , and James Howde How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] With so many options available, we want to know how you personally share your photos online. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More . Comment Of The Week goes to Henk van Setten, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Do You Share Your Photos Online? [MakeUseOf Poll] With so many options available, we want to know how you personally share your photos online. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More :

OK, I fall in the “I Never Share My Photos Online” category. I don’t even have a Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram account.

A general remark first: of all the “personal” photos I occasionally encounter online, 82% are totally uninteresting and boring. 17% are not people’s own photos at all, but stolen (sometimes photoshopped) copies of originals found elsewhere. Only the remaining 1% may be worth a look. Yes, these percentages are estimates ;-)

Why don’t I share mine?

(1) I don’t make that many photos. My phone (Galaxy Note II) has a fairly good camera, but I only use it when there is a clear, specific reason to snap a picture. Let me check… my last two photos were taken Oct. 29, so that’s 10 days ago. These two show an old painting: I needed some photos for an online search to try and identify the subject and the artist who painted the original. I don’t see a reason to bother the entire world with things like this.

(2) Most of my own photos are… you guess it, uninteresting and boring. I’m not a truly intriguing photographer with truly unique subjects. I can also put this in another way: apparently, most people grandiosely overestimate their own qualities as a photographer. Many seem to think they make great or interesting photos every day, while in fact most of the time they do not. I guess my own self-perception is a little more realistic.

(3) If once in a while one of my photos may be of interest to someone else, then why share it with 1000 people instead of just sharing it with that particular person? If I see a reason why someone (friend, family) should actually see one of my photos, I simply email it to them. And the nicest and easiest way is to show them the photo not online but in person, by just having them take a look at my 5.5? phone screen. In the rare case they say they want a copy for themselves, I still can mail it to them.

(4) Frequent uploading? I happen to live in a rural low-bandwidth area. All those nice Premium Internet company offers do never apply here because of inadequate infrastructure. My download speed is fair (though never over 6 Mbps) but my upload speed is at best 0.5 Mbps and often much lower, slow as molasses. Yes, dear urban geeks: even in the civilized Western world, situations like this are still very common and this may still be a factor to consider!

(5) Perhaps most important here is a prime matter of basic philosophy. It looks like for some people, the evident way to enjoy memorable moments has degenerated into just snapping and sharing some photos — and then to forget. This makes the phone or the camera into a shield that stands between you and the actual experience. This diverts your concentration from the event itself towards marginal activities. Please believe me: the ideal way to experience and remember a beautiful sunset is not by making and sharing a photo of it, but allowing all your senses to be totally immersed by it: really seeing colors and silhouettes, really hearing birds and insects, really smelling grass and leaves or the salt of the sea, really feeling the touch of a breeze or a hand.

Living in a truly mindful way requires fully concentrating on the experience that matters, without thinking of anything else. If you manage to bring that off, then you may be more happy and more intense with less photos.

We chose this comment because it offers a sensible and comprehensive argument against sharing photos online, and against taking too many photographs in the first place. There are some hard truths here that the younger generation would do well to consider.

Net Neutrality Is Good/Bad/Meaningless

no-internet-error-message

Net neutrality is “the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally.” If you need a fuller understanding of the issue read our primer on net neutrality What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? A significant number see Net Neutrality as essential to the survival of the Internet. In this article, we're going to look at why Net Neutrality matters, and why we should fight to protect it. Read More or watch net neutrality explained by various YouTube geniuses Net Neutrality, As Explained By YouTube’s Geniuses Net Neutrality, As Explained By YouTube’s Geniuses Are you still not sure what Net Neutrality actually is? Don’t feel dumb: it’s a nuanced concept. So, we tracked down videos from some of the smartest people on the Web. Read More .

The argument for net neutrality is that it’s essential to keep the Internet open and equal for all. The Internet without net neutrality would consist of fast lanes offered to companies willing to pay for the privilege, and ISPs blocking access to websites unwilling to play ball.

The argument against net neutrality is that private companies shouldn’t be hamstrung by regulation. Instead, each ISP should be able to act as they please, with competition being the driving force preventing any of them from screwing over their customers.

Even those who agree that net neutrality is a good thing Is Internet Freedom Under Threat From Internet Service Providers? [MUO Debates] Is Internet Freedom Under Threat From Internet Service Providers? [MUO Debates] Imagine a world where the content you are allowed to view on the Internet is tightly controlled by your Internet service provider. On MUO Debates, we explore and question this reality. Read More disagree on how best to ensure it remains the default. President Obama wants the Internet to be reclassified as a utility Obama Backs Net Neutrality, Google Fights Ebola, & More... [Tech News Digest] Obama Backs Net Neutrality, Google Fights Ebola, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, the Microsoft Lumia 535, edit captions with new Instagram update, The Who goes mobile, and the hour-long World of Warcraft documentary. Read More , while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking a milder solution. There is no easy answer.

So, what do you think?

Please vote in the poll above, and then explain in the comments below why you voted that way and expand on your thoughts regarding net neutrality. The best Comment Of The Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. Well, at least until we meet back here again this time next week.

Image Credits: James Cridland and Marcelo Graciolli via Flickr

  1. Ken Mitchell
    February 28, 2015 at 1:52 am

    "Network neutrality" sounds great. "Regulated utility" does not. Somehow, the Obama administration keeps coming up with fine-sounding names for TERRIBLE ideas. Don't go whining to the government when the regulations really start to bite; it'll be your own fault.

    The problem isn't that the "internet" is regulated too little; it's that ISPs such as Comcast and TIme-Warner get special benefits. The reason that Japan and Korea have far higher cell-phone data speeds than the USA does is that government REGULATIONS of the cell phone industry here hinders competition and impedes development. Most cities have one, perhaps two, competing ISPs, (or cable TV providers) because the cities restrict competition. Get rid of the restrictive regulations, and let other companies in to compete.

    If these restrictive 1930's regulations are allowed to go into effect, you can expect that every ISP, every web site operator, and probably every web USER will be required to have a government-issued LICENSE to use the government-owned Internet. I've already got a government telecommunications license, so perhaps this will get me faster service. But those of you who don't, or who abused your CB license - you're going to be screwed.

  2. Erin
    December 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    With the expanding amount of information that the public can receive by allowing net neutrality, I think it's essential to enforce the rules therefore not limiting our small business who may use large amounts of broadband, or our lower income families who may need access to ensure a steady income and creating a market to which ISP battle over competive prices.

  3. A41202813GMAIL
    November 19, 2014 at 6:50 am

    "I Hate Big Government Monopolies, But I Hate Private Monopolies Even More".

    Someone Should Make Big Companies Respect The Terms They Handed Contracts To Their Customers.

    As A Customer, Pulling The Rug When They Damn Well Feel Like It, Is Not My Definition Of Fun.

    Cheers.

    ---

    @hp

    Whatever Is Your Agenda, Keep Your Breath To Yourself.

  4. Maryon Jeane
    November 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Whoah - what's the hostility about?!? Mr Hobbes can answer all this far better than I - apart from anything else he had a lot more space (book lengths rather than a comment)!

    • Howard Pearce
      November 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      But my remark is (IMHO) short, blunt, and asks the telling question. I don't need a book !

      If you have no answer at all to my question then I would like to know why you are so confident that total freedom doesn't work . Merely because it is total and you were trained to believe that everything has an exception ?

      The problem with that rule is that the rule that "everything has an exception" has no exceptions either !! A contradiction.

    • Maryon Jeane
      November 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Are you seriously contending that if everyone had total freedom we would not have anarchy? If so, you have missed the lessons of history. However I rather think you're arguing for the sake of argument or for the impishness of being slightly rude.

      Please try Hobbes - you might enjoy his work.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I suspect Howard has got an agenda and is unwilling to even consider anything that goes against that. I don't think I have ever encountered such a closed-minded commenter on the Internet before.

  5. Maryon Jeane
    November 17, 2014 at 9:59 am

    My vote for 'Yes, but I have some reservations' was along Hobbesian lines: whilst I totally agree with the idea that the Internet should be a place of equality, it's still in the real world and populated by real people so total freedom won't, on all the evidence, work. A committed and fanatical group of people would be able to hold us all hostage simply by clogging up everything until their demands were met - and, given the number of these groups, this could be an almost daily occurrence.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Total freedom won't work ? Or your view of what freedom comprises is merely wrong.

      Regardless, tell me how much freedom does work ? Is there a rule or principle you follow .... or does it merely work when other means no longer suit your needs.

  6. Gordon
    November 17, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Imagine how you'd feel if every highway in America was a toll road. Of course, it's essential.

    • dragonmouth
      November 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      I don't have to imagine, I live in Northeast US where most of the limited access roads are toll roads. I always wonder how the states west of the Mississippi River can afford to have all free highways.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      That's a good analogy. I'm not surprised Howard hasn't replied to this comment, as he would insist that whoever owns the road should be able to charge people what the hell they like for using it. If you don't like it, use another road. Except that doesn't work if all the roads are tolls.

  7. J Melcher
    November 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    So, the idea of a single, one-size-fits-all handling/routing/priority class for "packets" will work for the internet even though it has never worked for different weights/densities/values of "freight class" in cargo; different wealth/comfort/urgency in "passenger class" for transport; book rate or priority versus bulk or personal "mail" rates in correspondence; "steerage" versus "promenade deck" on ocean liners; "transporation priority" (TP1-4) for guns, rations,fuel,comfort items in military logistics...

    in fact I can't think of any other historical actual system of moving any kind of "thing" via any network or even along one single corridor that does NOT prioritize service among bidders

    But, all that history and experience aside, of course either "net neutrality" will either work, or I am skeptical because of a distrust of the government to honorably and faithfully execute the good intentions necessary to make it work. There is no intrinsic reason to be skeptical about the concept of "net neutrality" except irrational fear of "the government" -- regardless of which nation, under which faction, at which moment.

    Oh wait, I can be utterly convinced this whole concept is a waste of time and money and will fail, but I can characterize that opinon as "having reservations"... oh, well, then.

    And this is a fairly worded poll question, you think, exactly why?

    Are you, Dave, perhaps under 20? Have you never actually booked an airline ticket or shipped a FedEx parcel or selected among delivery options offered by Amazon? Or do you somehow think a "packet" of data is quintessentially distinct from all other stuff to be or that has even been routed -- and if so could you elaborate upon the theoretical background you bring to that understanding?

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      I believe I was fair in the options offered in the Poll. I'm sorry you disagree.

      Nope, I am much older than 20. And I don't have to defend my personal position on this subject as it's a poll seeking others' opinions.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • J Melcher
      November 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for responding.

      Perhaps, being over 20, you are also old enough to recall the "SpiderMan" comic books where arch-journalist J. Jonah Jameson ran newspaper polls he thought were fair. "SpiderMan: Threat or Menace?"

      The positions held are revealed by the scope and frame and tone of the options offered. Jameson can't imagine that any significant part of his readership has any significant reason to consider the costumed character a "hero". It is similarly quite evident you can't imagine any reason to oppose wasted efforts to regulate into existence an unobtainable ideal. The omissions in the poll have the effect (threat or menace) of defining by false dichotomy the problem among those who believe market competition is "everything" and those who think a politically controlled action is "essential". No middle ground, no third way, no real choice.

      Please enjoy headlining the results of your "poll. "

  8. Keefe K
    November 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Every time this topic is brought up, there is always some large argument over politics with each side trying to justify their arguments by stating either "right-wing monopolistic" or "left-wing socialist" arguments as propaganda. Unfortunately this is highly unproductive as it just takes attention from the actual issue, and places it on various other topics like Obama or distribution of wealth. Then again, I am Canadian and like many others in the world, we just don't understand American politics or policies.

    With that said, I have to say I completely support the idea of net neutrality because currently as I am using the internet this second, all my traffic is being treated as equal (not taking into consideration of how Quality of Service priorities certain traffic over others, but that having to do with protocols of the network layer of the OSI model) and my streaming videos will run at the same speed as they will if I were browsing a website or downloading a file (this isn't taking into account bottlenecks in the transfer of information from network to network or other factors that can slow down traffic.) And because I like how things are with my browsing experience as it is at this moment, I'd like to keep it that way. Even if the the argument that service providers would make customers pay extra for speeding up certain cervices on the web was false, I would like to keep the way my traffic runs at present and the price I pay for that to happen to stay the same. And now let's look at the flip side of it: let's say companies don't actually speed all other traffic down, but offer their promised "fast lanes" for an extra fee. Great! But I don't have the money to pay for it, nor would I be willing. I have a 7Mbps connection as it is, and that's actually enough speed for me to enjoy videos at my chosen quality. The only problem with it is that some may see these extras as unnecessary and stick to what they have already, meaning that it wouldn't make the company much money.

    To conclude my argument I'd just wish to state that while I'm for progression in many things, there are just some things I'd like to keep the same. The Internet is one of them, as it's a doorway to infinite amounts of information and communication. We've seen it's benefits and it's downfalls, but I feel the good outweighs the bad in this case. It allows me voice my opinions and helps me exercise my freedom of speech and express who I am as an individual. For that I want the internet to stay out of control of particularly anyone, even though that scenario is impossible to achieve. We need some kind of regulation and/or standards on the internet, or else we'd have conflicts in IP addressing or our web browsers wouldn't be able to display certain elements a webpage was. These things are not a bad thing as they allow us to actually use the internet! So sometimes regulations are needed to keep things organized and fair, but the question will always be: "Just how far is too far?" And that's where my argument ends as that's getting deeply into political territory which I wish to avoid. All I care about if the fact I want my internet connection to remain the same as it is, so net neutrality is within my best interests since the idea of it will protect my interests. Honestly, I couldn't care less about whether it's right or wrong...it's just what I want as an individual.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      So you believe the concept of freedom of the press/communication is merely propaganda ? If so please state why you prefer coercive monopolies over those that allow competition.

    • Keefe K
      November 18, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Perhaps you should re-read what I said. I was not saying what was and isn't propaganda, but rather that I'm tired of all the finger-pointing and name calling in the absence of a proper factual debate. Instead of just dealing with the topic at hand, they always tend to morph the argument into political or social ideas instead. Like I stated before, the internet allows the free exchange of information and ideas and so I tie in my freedom of speech in with the internet. Which is why I believe it needs to be protected and kept the way it is now. But then that's just my personal opinion on the matter. And since we're on the topic of my personal opinions, I actually fully support the competition of companies as that's supposed to be the self-regulatory factor of capitalism (which is why monopolies can be somewhat of a danger to the system.) And while I may be one of the first to point out it's problems and shortcomings, I still believe it's a system that can work. After all, just because something isn't working means you throw out the whole system! Think of how many computers I would need to buy just because the last one randomly crashed. Instead I work to fix my computer problems or get others to help me because it's worth fixing up. There are many problems in the world with the different systems we've created and I believe we need to work together to solve them. The only problem is when we spend most of the time arguing between whether the fact is an opinion or vice versa, as then we're really not getting anything productive done at all.

      Now do you see why I don't like these kinds of arguments? I'm totally off-topic of the real discussion of whether the idea of net neutrality is good or bad. Nothing productive has been achieved and I have not made a stronger case for the idea, but rather just wasted my time trying to explain my opinions on freedom of speech and capitalism.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Keefe K,
      If that is the case I ask that you reconsider Net Neutrality and its goal of placing the press/communication in the hands of the state supposedly for implementing neutrality for the better good of society.
      Keep in mind that the state itself is a monopoly that also prohibits competition with it by force. That makes it what we call a coercive monopoly.

    • Keefe K
      November 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      Oh...you're one of THOSE people. Well then...I don't really need to reconsider it at all, as I don't see my government as a monopoly. It's supposed to be big and powerful, or else we'd already be under US rule by now. And that thought doesn't sit well with Canadians! We're a democratic government with 17 registered parties and 6 of them actually hold seats in our Parliament, not counting the independents. We're also coming up to our 2015 election meaning it's time to not only choose a new leader but also all our Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. This is out opportunity to vote for people we think best represents our interests and then hope they get enough to win the seat for our area. Of course the person we want doesn't always get elected, but that's democracy. If you believe your government is a monopoly, you should probably get on fixing that. I can't do anything about it since I'm Canadian and don't have a say in your system. But I am very proud of my country, even with all it's faults. We're far from perfect but I feel we're going in the right direction. And it's my job as a citizen to help direct my country's path by voicing my say no matter how small of insignificant it may seem. So when the major debates open up on net neutrality in Canada, I know exactly what my arguments are. Also, do excuse me if I don't respond...for some reason, my email flags this a spam!

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      @Keefe K You make some good points regarding net neutrality, so I thank you for getting involved.

      This deep mistrust of the government as evidenced by Howard's shambolic rhetoric seems to be a peculiarly American trait. As a Brit I trust a fairly elected government more than I trust unelected corporations who make decisions based on their need to make money. But maybe that's just me.

    • Keefe K
      November 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      @Dave Parrack Thanks. :)

      I honestly never understood how some Americans could be so mistrustful of their own government but have no problem trusting in corporations which are driven by making money. I agree with everything you said there, and I know many more that do as well who actually happen to be American. I hate it when people bring rhetoric into logical debates as then nothing gets done in the end. Both sides learn nothing about each other in the end and just get off-topic. And the whole point of a debate is to examine the different points of view and ideas to not only help others construct their own views, but to also allow us all to piece together something that's beneficial to all. It's not about establishing a right or wrong, it's about critical thinking and coming up with solutions. But then this isn't so much of a debate as it is a general agreement that we need net neutrality but rather how it should be implemented. It wasn't exactly what the poll was asking but unfortunately this is the internet and these things happen. But thanks for braving the storm out anyhow as this is an important topic that will determine how we use the internet in the future!

  9. CyberRanger
    November 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    If you believe the Internet would be more equitably run by the government than private *competing* companies, you are truly naive. Then, if you get your wish, you'll truly deserve what you get.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Run more equitably ? Are you an egalitarian where everything must be equal regardless of minority individual rights ?

      And regardless of that, I find it interesting you trust a coercive monopoly like the state over a market of free and voluntary exchange.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Correct me if I'm wrong but that's an argument against net neutrality. Howard, you've just argued against someone who shares your opinion. Well done.

  10. Josh
    November 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I'm a major supporter of Net Neutrality. However, I think that it's worth noting that supporting Net Neutrality does not automatically mean I want the government to control the internet. In fact, the only reason we're talking about making the internet a Title II Common Carrier is because big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon are exploiting the system to make more money for themselves and make things worse for their customers. If the ISPs had any principles and maintained net neutrality themselves, none of us would be pushing for the Title II classification and we'd be focused on other things.

    However, because these ISPs are pushing things around and creating local monopolies or oligopolies, we need something drastic to happen or the freedom of our internet usage will be compromised, so we're turning to the government to set things straight. Personally, I would love to see Title II be a temporary measure, not only to slap the big corporations on their wrists for the way they've been doing things, but to create a window so that we can make some better laws that would work for the benefit of both ISPs and their customers.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Josh,

      And how do you plan to stop the state from controlling the internet once you have given in to the concept that the state may regulate/control/coerce communications for the "greater benefit of geeks or whomever" ?

      That's why we have concepts like freedom of the press/communication which outright prohibit the state from mandating communication on others.

    • Josh
      November 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Look, I'm not going to assert that I'm some kind of expert on these things, or that I have all of the answers. However, as I have been looking around the internet and reading/hearing what people are saying, here's what I do know: A) Net Neutrality is very important for the internet to continue to do what it does best. B) Corporations are exploiting people by finding loops in the rules and compromising Net Neutrality. C) SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT IT!

      Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that letting the government regulate the internet like a common carrier is the best solution. Taken at face value, that does sound like a terrible idea. However, given the context, with corporations clearing planning on making things worse if they're given free reign, then maybe, yeah, I do want the government to step in to set things straight, even for the moment. Lesser of two evils, so to speak.

      And it's not like the government is all that evil anyway. They already regulate a lot of things in our lives: highways, the postal service, telephone lines, travel by flight, etc. It's what a government does to ensure that people can go about their business unhindered by the machinations of the unscrupulous. And while I admit that the internet is far more complicated than highways, it is starting to serve a similar purpose in the every day life of the people, especially in the United States.

      And even if the government starts abusing their power (as you suggest) and limiting access to certain parts of the internet, at least we (arguably) have avenues to let our concerns be known. As flawed as our government is, it is still something of a democracy (as long as our leaders aren't in Comcast's pockets!). Let's not be so quick to assume the worst. (Though I suppose that's what we did with our ISPs, and things got worse.)

      As I said before, I'm not going to claim to know the answers. Is Title II the best solution? Probably not. Is it better than letting the corporations have their way with our bandwidth, with their local monopolies and oligopolies? Most likely, yes.

      And besides, why is the media so insistent that we don't trust the government at all moments, hmm? That strikes me as a little fishy. ;)

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Josh,

      You know people who love state control of everything COUNT ON YOU believing their "nice sounding" motives for state control . Some may even believe them. But the violation is civil liberties like freedom of the press/communication should be a no-no for anyone that supports minority individual rights who have their own ideas on how to communicate with others.
      Again these fascist just love that you buy into this idea "something must be done" ... let me dictate to others that they have to follow the greater good. I am sure Hitler thought that about the jews.

    • Josh
      November 17, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Oh, good grief, are you serious?! Really?!

      Given that you've just invoked Godwin's Law, I probably shouldn't even be taking you seriously anymore, but I do want you to know that I find your language and rhetoric to be rather narrow-minded. Net Neutrality is not a black-and-white issue, and trying to shoehorn it into an "Us and Them" perspective reeks of the same kind of mudslinging stench that US Politics has carried for decades. This is a problem that needs to be solved by people with different perspectives working together, not by drawing lines in the sand and picking fights.

      Look, I understand the importance of free speech and freedom of the press (which is why the idea of net neutrality is so important in the first place), but insisting that exploring the idea of classifying the internet as a Title II Common Carrier somehow means that I stand for fascism and against freedom is the kind of mental gymnastics that makes me roll my eyes so hard, they fall to the floor (figuratively, just in case you try to assert a literal interpretation).

      Taking a look around at the other comments you've made in this discussion, it seems fairly obvious that you're either a troll or someone who trying to enforce your opinion on other people (which which is a poor method of discussion, by the way). I only responded to you the first time as I considered it an opportunity to expand upon my first comment for the sake of clarity, but it is clear to me that you're really not interested in reading what I have to say. Instead, you seem to be trying to infer that I'm saying something I'm clearly not (putting words in my mouth, so to speak), and people who do that are generally not worth my time.

      Have a good day.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Josh,

      Let me makes this easy for you in another way.

      I support freedom of association where every individual has the free, voluntary, and consenting option to associate with whomever they chose as long as they are adults.

      Of course that also means a a free and voluntary and consenting association with coercive monopolies like the state too who actually prohibit competition in almost any format with them.

      A concept I am positive you do not agree with preferring state mandated/coerced associations on others for the greater benefit of the society, the nation, geeks, or whomever.

      A concept I consider fascism.

    • Josh
      November 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Consider it that way all you like. It's a free country and a free internet (for the moment), and you're free to redefine things as much as you want. I am no longer interested in discussing this with you, as you only seem interesting in making your points instead of considering any more mine. I don't need to defend my position anymore than I already have, and people (including you) can take it however they want. I don't care. Nothing you say is going to make a difference to me. I know what I believe, I know why I believe it, and that's all I need.

      Now I suppose the cooler and more collected minds of the internet would suggest that I simply ignore you, as I should have better things to do, but I think sometimes that sets a bad precedent on the internet. Quite often, people interpret silence as some kind of acceptance of or surrender to the other person's opinion (which, more often than not, is not the case). Well, instead of letting you have the satisfaction of having the last word, let's do this: every time you respond to one my comments on this thread, I will simply quote some relevant verses of the Book of Mormon (not the musical). That way, in case someone does come across this conversation, it will guarantee that there will be something worthwhile to read. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Our comments get deleted for being off-topic? Oh, darn!

      Or, I suppose, we could simply agree to disagree, and let this rest. What do you say? >: )

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      "If the ISPs had any principles and maintained net neutrality themselves, none of us would be pushing for the Title II classification and we’d be focused on other things."

      This is a good point, well made. The government wasn't getting involved until the ISPs proved they couldn't be trusted on net neutrality.

      I stopped reading Howard's comments once he mentioned Hitler. Godwin's Law indeed.

  11. Jessica C
    November 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    No contest, it's essential. Shouldn't even be a debate. For those who haven't seen it, John Oliver from Last Week Tonight has a great segment all about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      John Oliver did a great job with that.

      I disagree that it shouldn't be a debate though. Even if everybody agreed that net neutrality is essential (which they clearly don't), there is still the tricky subject of working out how best to preserve it. That requires a debate with opinions from both sides.

  12. Jason
    November 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Net neutrality, which is pretty much they way the internet has been up to this point, is essential for those who are using the net. Whether talking about content creators or the average web surfer, net neutrality is what allows for equal opportunity for any content to be seen/consumed. The notion of creating an "internet fast lane" is a misrepresentation of the facts. Currently, the entire internet is one big fast lane. The only way to create a new fast lane is to throttle the majority of traffic so that some traffic then can be said to be faster. This sort of manipulation can only benefit those service providers who make money off charging fees to move specific traffic into the new "fast lane." The reason that some people want to reclassify the internet is to avoid just such a scenario. Whether that is the best course of action is debatable. However, net neutrality is necessary in any case.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      That's a great point on the true nature of creating fast lanes. I believe we will all suffer if that comes to pass.

  13. James Howde
    November 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I voted 'Yes it's essential' on grounds of self interest.

    Using the analogy of roads, if net neutrality falls, I'm not going to be the guy being chauffeur driven down the fast lane. I'll be in the crowded bus with the screaming children waiting for the slow lane traffic to edge forward, along with the other plebs.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      And so will I, hence my support for net neutrality too. :)

  14. Leah
    November 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I voted for I don't understand. I do sort of understand, but I'm still on the fence. I don't want this to be one more thing the government regulates, but then I also don't want internet companies having the ability to decide how much bandwidth or whatever goes to certain pages. I feel like that already happens when I watch Netflix. I don't trust the government, though. I don't want them to have control over one more thing. I don't know how this would play into that whole freedom of speech and press.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Have you read the articles I linked to above? They go some way to explaining net neutrality.

      This has nothing to do with the freedom of speech, unless you think stopping ISPs from blocking websites or artificially slowing access to others goes against that ideal.

      Can I ask, why don't you trust the government? It seems to be a very American way of thinking.

  15. John Hunter
    November 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Why would anyone want the control of the internet be turned over to Big Business. Unless you are in the 1%. Wake up people!

    • Howard Pearce
      November 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Why would anyone want to turn control of the internet over to a coercive monopoly like the state which gives you no option to select an alternative representative.

      Here in Florida I am least given the choice between CenturyLink and Comcast.

    • ToysRnotUs
      November 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Agree. I trust the State much more than private companies with profit as first priority. I can democratically choose another government, but not what companies exist (how much people claim that you can vote with your wallet. In my world it's bullshit), or how they handle things. I guess it depends on which country you live in of course, and the history in that country.
      I believe all important infrastructure should be totally controlled by the State. And I live in Europe if you wonder.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      ToysRnotus,

      So you trust coercive monopolies like the state that don't allow competition over monopolies that do allow completion (assuming they are actually monopolies of course).

      I find that very interesting.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Howard, how about offering a solution rather than continually banging the drum in favor of corporations?!

      Believe me, you will not like it if and when net neutrality dies. We get it, you don't want the government controlling the Internet. So offer an alternative way of preserving net neutrality.

  16. dragonmouth
    November 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    "Obama wants ........ reclassify the Internet as Title II. Why?"
    You answered your own question in the next sentence: "Under Title II Internet access can be taxed the same way as landlines and cell phones." REVENUE!!!

    • Dave Parrack
      November 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      I assumed that was intentional. But the passive aggressive delivery made it a little confusing.

    • Bart
      November 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Yes, I was asking and answering my own question. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

  17. bnjohanson
    November 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    This really is nothing short of astonishing.

    Even among an industry and culture that is weighted heavily by young, naive, and Utopian liberal loons, the great majority of even those find government intrusiveness into the macro usage of the internet totally nauseating and unacceptable...

    ...that is, except for this specific website. That poll illustrated above has finally confirmed, especially when added with the many article written by the authors here that not only "lean" toward any- and all- things totally Leftist, but clearly a basket of total Leftist Extremist have a found their home here. What a total outlier this Site is compared to 98% of where the World is on this issue, as well as every other issue I have seen discussed here...

    • Dave Parrack
      November 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      I can honestly say that's the first time I have been described as a "Leftist Extremist."

      You think 98% of the world is against net neutrality? No.

      Also, I'd like to know how this post is in any way biased. I have presented both sides of the arguments, and invited everybody to have their say. I was careful not to let my personal feelings about net neutrality get involved.

    • bnjohanson
      November 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      No, Dave you're exactly right. I was careless for implying that you should be mopped-up with those in my aforementioned; you should not, and your article was more than fair. It was the poll itself that drew to me to my point and then I merely expanded from there.

      I will stand by my 98% because for those that are fully educated on the facts of this issue, versus those that have only been presented by the side delivered by the corporate interests and their allies, ALL think it's a bad idea to favor only a certain minority to favorable access....that is, 9.8 out of 10.

    • Bart
      November 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Well he is a politician. So it shouldn't be all that shocking. Plus I imagine this also had some impact on his recent push for so-called "net neutrality":

      "Google is the biggest corporate lobbyist in America now, says new Public Citizen report"
      http://pando.com/2014/11/13/google-is-the-biggest-corporate-lobbyist-in-america-now-says-new-public-citizen-report/

    • Howard Pearce
      November 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      "Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media and published materials." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_press

      Freedom of the press is your right to communicate. That means any attempt by the state to dictate HOW or WHAT you communicate is a violation of freedom of the press.

      Net Neutrality does both to ISP's - it's targeted victims one of the reasons for the support. All ISP's are evil , right :D

      I will not support ideas like Net Neutrality because I support civil liberties for ALL individuals/entities including ISP's REGARDLESS of some nerd's support for "advanced technological" means to run the internet ... let's make the internet run on time ... an idea Mussolini could approve of maybe.

      The first state-mandated printing/communication in Net neutrality is that ISP's will communicate/print all sites.

      A clear violation of freedom of the press for the state to dictate to anyone what to print / communicate.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 17, 2014 at 2:23 am

      Dave,

      Unlike you I support people's civil liberty to freedom of communication. That means any state mandate on how or what to communicate is a violation of the concept of freedom of the press. Including your beloved Net Neutrality.

  18. Bart
    November 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The Telecom Act of 1996 signed by Pres. Clinton classified the Internet as lightly regulated Title I. Now Obama wants the "independent" FCC to bypass Congress and reclassify the Internet as Title II. Why? Under Title II Internet access can be taxed the same way as landlines and cell phones.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      That's one way of looking at it. It's not the reason Obama is giving in public though, so you're effectively calling the President of the United States a liar.

    • Howard Pearce
      November 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Lightly regulated ? :D Does that mean lightly fascist. Remember... they advertised themselves as a third alternative to capitalism and communism.

      I don't know of any other 3rd alternatives other than the mixed economy.

    • CyberTechie
      November 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Government imposing regulations will only provoke ISP's to circumvent the laws in legitimate ways to provide tiered services more extremely, and they will justify it as new services. And that would shut public consumers from huge areas of the internet, leaving average citizens with just higher internet bills and less content delivery. Even though politicians argue this differently. It's not up to them what service providers deliver or don't deliver. And it never will be. That's like telling restaurants what food to serve and not to serve. And why upset the service providers? The only people who will suffer from their afflictions by the government, will be the common people. I am IT Software Engineer and I get 94mbs download per second for $39 a month at home. I get to all the websites I need, and I make new discovery's daily, more than enough to keep a health research growth. I would like to keep this. So when I hear of Net Neutrality, I think yes, it would be great if we all had the same privileges as big corporations, but will that really happen? I don't think so. Big corporations will always get better services and will pay big money for it. That's just business. When the ISP's stop competing on Content Delivery to the public domain, say goodbye to the Internet's value!

    • PCHalfWit
      February 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      I won't pretend to be anything but a very basic computer user, knowing just enough to get myself in trouble, or that I've read what is necessary to have a complete understanding of the issue, but like computing you don't need to know how it does, just how to make what it does happen. Hopefully the level of ambiguity will sharply decrease from here on in. What doesn't seem to be in question, in any way, is just how incredibly important the Internet is and therefore this issue along with it and I hope what I'm about to say isn't too simplistic and naive. As long as ISP's are policed, and not allowed to do as they see fit then could they maybe be allowed some level of tiered service for people who I assume need it, maybe even justify having a little bigger slice of the pie than someone like myself who in all honesty doesn't need more than what is considered standard? As long as this doesn't lead to a mile being taken as opposed to an inch, and it's made clear that this vital resource will not be allowed to be hijacked and taken over by corporate, or any kind of tyrant, and will be closely monitored to ensure policy is observed then I for one would be OK with it. If I am being naive, or ignorant of the reality that exists, then it wouldn't be the first time but especially with the 'tech' side that this issue has, finding a source of some kind of overview, written in layman's terms isn't something I've managed to do. Hopefully what I've said isn't too wide of the mark? I guess I'll find out if this is read by someone in the know who might want to set me straight, or shut me up , and/or! I disagree with Cyber Techie (above?) and his comparison with telling a restaurant what food to serve, and not, simply because we're not talking about regulating food (which he's aware of, I know) and in the name of freedom ISP's may need to be told what they can and can't do, by a suitable body. Again, I only hope all I've said isn't just a nice idea, but just not how it is - maybe it's neither!?!?
      Let me know, I can handle it.........................

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