Black People : The Internet Must Not Become a Segregated Community

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Internet Must Not Become a Segregated Community

    When Fox News' Glenn Beck called President Barack Obama a racist this past July, the online advocacy group ColorOfChange.org launched a campaign to convince advertisers to boycott the show. To date, some 285,000 people have joined the effort, and more than 80 companies have pulled their ads.
    CNN parted ways with Lou Dobbs last month after civil rights groups and Presente.org mobilized thousands of Latinos online to call on CNN to dump the talk show host for spewing hate against immigrants for years.

    None of this -- not these advocacy efforts, not countless small business success stories, not even the election of President Obama -- would have happened without a free and open Internet. For communities of color, the Internet provides us with a unique opportunity to speak for ourselves without first seeking approval or permission or having to secure major funds to do so. But the big telecommunications companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast want to create an effectively segregated online community where they will act as our gatekeepers.
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now considering new rules that could protect the fundamental principle of "Network Neutrality" once and for all. Net Neutrality prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, discriminating against or deterring Internet users from accessing online content and applications of their choice -- such as e-newsletters, blogs, social networking sites, online videos, podcasts and smart-phone apps.

    It's not that network owners are secretly plotting to stifle free speech. But they have an undeniable, rational interest in creating a pay-for-play model for the treatment of communication on the Internet. Commercial Web sites that pay will get speed and quality, and the noncommercial uses of the Net will be collateral damage -- relegated to the slow lane. It's not necessarily that they want to block our speech for political reasons. It's that our speech is not important to them because it's not going to make them money.
    The Internet provides our communities with a medium to access services, find jobs, connect to friends, make inexpensive international phone calls to family members, and to advocate for social change. Many of the most valuable things we do online are noncommercial; they exist because the Internet is the first mass media system with no gatekeepers to dole out privilege to the highest bidder. That freedom and openness is what makes the Internet different from broadcasting and cable. We can't allow Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and other broadband providers to deliver substandard Internet service to our communities.

    Telecom Companies Want to Create Second-Class "Netizens"

    But the big phone and cable companies want to get rid of Net Neutrality and control how the public accesses the Internet. This threat to Internet freedom isn't hypothetical. Verizon got caught blocking text messages sent by the pro-choice group NARAL to its own members - backing down only in response to public pressure. Comcast has also illegally interfered with file-sharing on its network, a practice that earned the company a rebuke from the FCC.
    Even though President Obama pledged that he would "take a back seat to no one" on Net Neutrality, the big phone and cable companies are pulling out all the stops to derail it, including deploying Karl Rove-style scare tactics within our communities and using their massive resources to block Obama's agenda.

    In the first nine months of 2009, they employed nearly 500 lobbyists and spent some $74 million to influence Congress and the FCC. Their misinformation has even convinced Glenn Beck that Net Neutrality is an attempt by President Obama to take over the Internet.

    Who will protect the online rights of marginalized communities against the raw profit motive of big business? We urge leaders not to yield to the underhanded scare tactics that corporations like AT&T have used on our communities.

    We Must Reject a Separate but Unequal Online World

    One of those scare tactics is the claim, pushed by phone and cable companies, that Network Neutrality poses a threat to digital inclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only does Net Neutrality expand media diversity and access by ensuring fairness and nondiscrimination by big corporations, it will prevent the kind of media consolidation that has happened in the broadcast industry by helping our communities develop a diversity of civic and commercial online enterprises on a scale that represents our growing online numbers.
    A primary reason for the digital divide is that the cost of fully engaging in the online world is just too high for many in our communities. Broadband in the United States is among the slowest but most expensive of any industrialized nation. After years of consolidation, the largest telecom companies have gotten away with price-gouging our communities because of a lack of competition in the broadband market.
     
  2. 360

    360 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I almost stopped reading right there. No offense, but this is SPAMbloid.

    That aside, saying that this is about the "big companies" vs. us is like believing in the tooth fairy.

    There were clear signs of what was going to happen with this technology years ago or rather why WOULDN'T this be used in the same way as every other kind of media.

    It doesn't matter what people do or want given the nature of this sort of media(it's been that way for quite some time). Most people in this part of the world don't really bother with media and never have(by choice). If every person in the world decided tomorrow never to touch mass media again we'd still be flooded with it and it would still be heavily controlled/manipulated. People would still be claiming that a song is a "number one hit" or "hot," a tv show or film is number one or has high ratings, a site has X amount of visitors, and etc. This is reality. We don't need to be worried about telcoms. What's a problem is that a good amount of people, at this point in time, actually want cable and actually want to download tv shows. lol
     
  3. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    We are not the ones who have created segregation on the streets or online, and in light of how much our community has declined by virtue of integration, there is realy no reason for us as a people in these hard economic times to seek integration on line either.

    When it comes to political action against the plutocracy or economic action against the oligarchy, then there is cause to unite with those we share the same national residence with,
    but other then that,
    we have enough to do just trying to collectively create a safety net for the economic storm ahead, to be concerned with the interests of other races, at the expense of our own.
     
  4. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Let's do keep in mind both sides of the present siuation facing us and the message boards...

    Bump...

    FYI...


     
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