Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Who says what we can access?

    Earlier this year the FCC proposed its new set of rules regarding the internet. As many of you already know these new rules put an end to net neutrality by allowing telecommunication giants to slow and even block access to certain sites by controlling broadband and fees.
    What this means is certain big name sites, such as Netflix or Facebook can pay to run faster, while other sites unable to afford greater speed, will be slowed possibly to the point of complete ineffectiveness.
    If net neutrality is lost it will entirely change how we use the internet, but perhaps the greatest danger lies in the potential silencing of minority voices.
    Ever since it was first opened for public access, the internet has provided a platform of equal opportunity. It is a space where anyone can speak out or offer support to a limitless audience of fellow users, with all information equally available.
    If the FCC’s new rules are passed and net neutrality is done away with this space will disappear, something that could set back equality outside of the internet as well.
    Minority communities of all sorts (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) rely on the internet to communicate with each other and tell their stories to a broader group. Conventional media often ignores their stories or portrays them incorrectly, but on the web specialized, independent media has been allowed to flourish.
    Without net neutrality the visibility of such communities will go down and their fights for equality will suffer.
    It’s time for all of us to take another look at the issue of net neutrality and what taking it away could mean for our lives both on and off the internet. We rely so heavily on the internet for information and social interaction and if we allow it to be regulated by corporations so much of the access and freedom we enjoy will disappear.
    It’s easy to overlook the fundamental importance of the web as a tool and not just a platform for entertainment. It’s a global soapbox, a megaphone that until now could be used by anyone, and in an age of increasing regulation can we really afford to lose it?
    On the 15th of this month the FCC will be finalizing the new internet rules, but it’s not to late to speak out. Read the new rules on the FCC’s web page and consider signing petitions or attending a speak out to let the FCC know that the internet is for everyone equally, no exceptions.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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