Law and Media blog

Of the issues discussed in the reading, I am concerned about them all, but I am most concerned about network neutrality, often called net neutrality. Net neutrality is “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.”

It really concerns me that internet service providers could begin to strike deals behind close doors that hurt the average American consumer. If we cannot access the internet equally, you lose a large breadth of knowledge that everyone deserves to have. In my opinion, internet access should be something that everyone in America has access too, especially as the internet is becoming more popular and is the source of so much information. For example, tribal land has very poor access to internet, and it translates to issues in literacy. If there was no longer net neutrality, their internet could get even worse.

Additionally, some forms of censorship also concern me, specifically government censorship. I worry that if governments begin to take reign over the internet, access to things like journalism that uncovers bad things in the government or even opposing views will not be represented. This is not something I particularly worry about in America, but it happens in other countries and is very concerning. Plus, even private media companies could begin to censor things, like Google or Facebook, and that is also concerning. For example, Google could stop showing content that is critical of certain viewpoints.

I don’t plan on shifting the way I use media as it stands right now, but the readings definitely helped me know what I am worried about for the future and how that could affect me moving forward. The one thing that really touched me throughout the readings was the Wired story on cyberbullying. As someone who has grown up on the internet, I view cyberbullying as a serious problem, and this judge’s ruling is completely unacceptable. I have reported things on various platforms, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Many of these times the posts I reported were not removed, despite (in my opinion) being completely inappropriate. The ability for a media company to essentially decide right from wrong is really worrisome, as I don’t trust many of them, specifically the large social media companies that thrive off of things like this.

To think that someone lost their life over posts on the internet from people they did not know is horrifying, and I think the overall lack of coverage surrounding cyberbullying in the news is a huge issue that should change.