The ACLU Explained Net Neutrality's Importance With A Hilariously Relatable Tweet

What can we do now that the vote has passed?

The FCC officially repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules earlier today, December 14, but hours before the repeal was formally finalized, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) managed to explain the importance of net neutrality using a simple, very relatable tweet.

While the somewhat abstract concept of net neutrality can be difficult to understand, it's basically the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. In other words, net neutrality provides equal and fair access to the Internet and forbids ISPs from intentionally blocking, slowing down or charging money for specific websites and online content. 

Knowing many may not fully comprehend the concept of net neutrality or what it would mean to be without it, the ACLU used pizza (yes, pizza) to explain it in relatable terms.

"Not sure why #NetNeutrality matters?" the tweet asked. "Imagine if your service provider could stop you from ordering Domino's online — by slowing down your connection or crashing your browser — because Pizza Hut is paying them."

As you may have guessed, the tweet ignited a debate over the best pizza, but  more importantly connected to dots for many who were formerly fuzzy about the concept. "That is just wrong," wrote one.

And as helpful as the pizza analogy may be, when brought back into the political realm the consequences of repealing net neutrality were even more alarming. Check out one Twitter user's observations below:

While it is disheartening to know the repeal of these potentially life-saving regulations occurred so easily, it should also be noted that there are still ways to advocate for net neutrality even though we may soon exist in a country without it.

Prior to today's decision, various industry and public interest groups made it clear they were considering using legal options in an effort to negate the repeal. According to Reuters, legal strategies could include arguing the reversal is arbitrary because it comes just two years after the Obama-era rules were put in place. "As an FCC lawyer, I would be kind of red-faced going to court and saying, 'You know what? We want to overturn that (the 2015 rules we just defended)" explained former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.

Similarly, Vox reports a "flurry of lawsuits from tech companies, internet activists, and think tanks will likely descend upon Washington" and will petition the U.S. Court of Appeals for a review of the FCC's order.

The publication also notes Congress could move to pass a joint resolution overturning the repeal and establishing new regulatory oversight, but given overwhelming Republican support of the repeal this seems unlikely for now. However, if the 2018 midterm elections result in a major upheaval of Congress, we might have a shot at saving net neutrality. 

If you're looking to take more immediate action, Battle For the Net is urging concerned Americans to write Congress in an effort to pressure them into passing a "Resolution of Disapproval," which would overturn the FCC vote. Not surprisingly, the ACLU also advocates contacting Congress. For more information on how you can get involved, click here.

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