Masbad: Net neutrality

JUST last week, net neutrality was overturned by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America. I know, this is mostly centered in the US as an issue. But knowing that we, Filipinos, access US websites majority of the time, it’s quite possible that we’ll also be affected. In fact, my thinking is that the entire internet will be affected by this. Now, before we all even jump into the conversation, we all need to remember that this issue is very nuanced. It’s intertwined with politics and big money (at least I think so). Even until this writing, I’m still reading up on it and learning more as I go along. There’s just too many points of views from a lot of people aside from the simplistic for and against net neutrality views.

What is net neutrality anyway? Well, to put it simply, here’s a paragraph from an article published on Quartz back in October.

The principle of net neutrality is simple: companies that connect you to the internet must treat all content equally. In policy terms, that means the government ensures internet service providers do not block, slow, or otherwise discriminate against certain content or applications.

Essentially, net neutrality means that the internet or access to the internet is to be treated in the same way as access to water and electricity. Once you’re hooked up, you get the same water or electricity that your neighbor gets. Your water and power company cannot and should not be able to discriminate.

Considering that we’re so far off from the mainland US, it’s interesting to look at both sides as they argue for and against the salient points of net neutrality. At one side, I’m learning that it’s possible that internet service providers in the US will start offering tiered service packages for its customers to be able to go online. Check out the embedded tweet below. That’s how it is in Portugal. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’m seeing similar offerings as well from our country’s mobile carriers. Could it be possible that terrestrial internet service are not far behind? I guess only time will tell.

To say the least, the US is in an uproar because of this reversal of net neutrality. A lot of states are already saying that they’ll sue the government in courts because of this and it could go all the way up to the Supreme Court. From where I’m sitting, this is an interesting issue to follow as it may have both direct and indirect effects on us here in the Philippines.

Twitter threads

On other news, this is one feature that might push me to use Twitter more from now on. Threads! Basically, Twitter now allows you to post multiple tweets (ideally about a single topic) so it just flows instead of posting separate tweets and numbering them for your followers to keep track of. They’re still rolling out the feature to all users on Android, iOS and web. It can take a while before you’ll have it on your device or on your account if you use twitter via a browser. So be patient. Rolling out a feature to millions of users does not happen in a finger snap.

Basically, when you’re composing a tweet in the compose (duh) window, there’s now a plus (+) button to allow you to connect your thoughts and publish your threaded Tweets all at the same time. And if you happen to come across a tweet that’s threaded, you’ll see a label on it that will tell you that it is one and will let you click or tap on it to “Show this thread.” Neat, huh? I think so too!

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