FULL DISCLOSURE: Net Neutrality – the concept that all online data be treated equally and not having certain specific websites favored over others – is how I’ve been able to grow my business making comics and art for a living. This is important to me, considering I was laid off from my day job back in February and the only means I had to pay bills was to make comics and post them online for readers to see. I already wrote a post about why this issue matters to me, because it directly affects my business as well as my ability to connect with readers, friends, and family. So take your “stop making everything political” comments elsewhere. I am in no mood to entertain you.
Alright, I need y’all to quit quoting Eminem and planning your exit strategies from social media for a hot minute, because Net Neutrality Ain’t Dead Yet.
For those of you who don’t keep up with how these executive decisions work, here’s what went down:
The Federal Communications Commission had a vote within their organization in regards to net neutrality, the concept that all data be treated equally online. They voted to get rid of net neutrality as a handout to corporations – which makes sense because the Chairman, Ajit Pai, is a massively immature tool.
(No, Pai, you can’t claim you did that video “ironically.” We all know you hate everyone’s right to criticize you and want to censor anybody who disagrees with you.)
Anyway, this vote the FCC had is now pending approval from Congress.
Not only that, but 20 of the 50 United States – including Washington, New York, and Hawai’i – are preparing a lawsuit against the FCC to fight to keep net neutrality in place.
So now there’s a lot going on. How does this affect you?
Well, the FCC vote is not law yet. Congress still has 60 legislative days to look over everything and decide if this decision is legit or not.
YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE HEARD.
It’s one thing to go to protests, sign petitions, or make social media posts (yes, this includes blog posts). It’s another thing to do the most effective thing to be heard by Congress – calling your elected officials on the phone.
Surprisingly, this is easy to do, and takes only five minutes at most (unless you’re the ranting type). So here’s how you do it:
- Dial 1-202-224-3121 to connect to the DC Switchboard. They will ask you for your zip code, and whether you want to contact your Representative in the House of Representatives, or one of your two Senators.
- Call EACH of your elected officials.
- If you get connected to an aide, state your name and that you would like to leave a message. If it’s voicemail, go straight to your message.
- Say something like this: “Hello, my name is (NAME) and I’m a constituent from (TOWN, ZIP CODE). I’m calling to urge (REP/SENATOR) to use the Congressional Review Act and overturn the FCC’s decision on net neutrality rules.”
- If you feel it’s helpful, add a reason why net neutrality matters to you. Just keep it brief. (Also keep in mind – If your officials are Republican, use words like “censorship,” “Big Brother,” and “freedom of speech.” If your official is Democrat, use words like “small business growth,” “connecting,” and “freedom of speech.” If your legislator is Independent, rare as that is, talk to them like a normal person without coded language.)
- If you’re calling your Representative, urge them to also support a bill called HR 4585. It’s LITERALLY called The Save Net Neutrality Act.
- Thank the person for their time and end the message.
You can also go to battleforthenet.com and they’ll help you make calls and send messages to your officials.
So if you can, ABSOLUTELY call your elected officials about this. It’s within your power and, with enough people calling about it, Congress can overturn this decision.
And if you think your calls don’t matter – Susan Collins, a Republican, urged Pai to drop his plans because of her constituents calling her and voicing outrage. If she can do it, ANYONE can do it.
Another thing you can do, if you have the means to do this – make a donation to Fight for the Future. They’re an organization dedicated to standing up for our freedom online, and are one of the organizations spearheading battleforthenet.com.
To that end, I’m doing a special giveaway!
If you make a donation to Fight for the Future of any amount, email a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your mailing address, and I will mail you a copy of Suit Up! A Dragonball Z Fan Zine.
So add your voice however you can. Together we can reverse this.
Thank you so much for your support.
You. Are. Awesome.