Reddit’s r/The_Donald is Eating Itself Over Net Neutrality
Watch this subreddit fight itself, using a forum it can't decide if it wants to protect.
The Net Neutrality Day of Action has incited some not-so-civil discourse over at r/The_Donald, a subreddit best known for popularizing the term “cuck” and idolizing white nationalist luminaries like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Subscribers have swung back and forth on the dangers and benefits of the FCC’s proposed rollback of net neutrality regulations, the repeal of which would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to prioritize traffic to some websites over others, and potentially harvest and sell user data. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, reading the conflicting arguments the Redditors lob at each other is very interesting.
But first, what’s net neutrality?
If you’re wondering what’s at stake in the net neutrality debate, check out the Google Chrome extension designed to mimic an Internet without net neutrality frustrated users by slowing down service to popular sites like Youtube and Facebook and offering up mediocre substitutes in their stead.
The Net Neutrality Day of Action is a campaign to uphold Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which classifies ISPs as common carriers, thus granting the FCC the ability to enforce net neutrality.
Several prominent companies and organizations participated in the Day of Action. Sites like Google, OkCupid, Imgur and Yelp threw their support behind the campaign, which offers various website banners and ad-ons designed to draw attention to the issues surrounding the repeal of net neutrality.
What do Donald Trump supporters think?
The campaign drew the attention of Redditors, most of whom favor net neutrality. The subscribers of r/The_Donald, however, were of two minds on the subject.
One faction echoed the typical arguments in favor of net neutrality. There is no economic incentive to [increase user privacy] because there is near zero competition in the ISP space,” said u/dilith98 in a response to the top post on the subreddit about net neutrality, a screed in favor of the rollback by r/The_Donald mod u/shadowman3001.
Other net neutrality supporters expressed fear of ISPs using newfound power to suppress or censor their views.
“Can you imagine what an ISP would block or censor if it were controlled by regressives such as Podesta or any number of other Swamp Monsters? Net Neutrality is a large part of what won this election, the free flow of information. What if the owner of your ISP blocked T_D? Who would slay CNN then?” asked u/Head_Cockswain.
Others didn’t see the problem with repealing net neutrality and argued that decreasing government influence in the internet would actually be beneficial, especially because the sites that would retain the ability to censor content skew away from r/The_Donald’s stances.
“In my humble opinion, the government shouldn’t allow some companies access to your data, while restricting other companies access to that same data,” u/shadowman3001 said. “The government isn’t here to play favorites, nor should it be here to consolidate money and power to companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.”
One post bashed Reddit co-founder Steve Hoffman’s support of net neutrality. “How about some Reddit Neutrality first you cuck?” u/nomerasques demanded.
Not everyone was even aware of what exactly net neutrality entailed. “Why should I care about net neutrality?” asked u/God_is-good. “If the liberals want it doesn’t that pretty much automatically mean that its bad?”
Shockingly, the conversation did not yield a unified stance on the issue. Supporters of net neutrality were labeled “Bernie bros,” and detractors were branded “shills.”
It’s enough to make you question if the Internet as we know it is really… worth saving.
See also: Reddit as a whole unites for Net Neutrality Day of Action