On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to remove net neutrality rules it put in place two years ago under the Obama administration. Predictably, this prompted hatemongers on social media to call for the murder of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Here’s a sample of the tweets we found:
kill ajit pai
— start//end (@Ohverkillss) December 14, 2017
I'm not usually one to call for assassinations but cane someone please kill Ajit Pai? #NetNeutrality
— DocPierce (@Sarkastik136) December 14, 2017
Someone kill Ajit Pai immediately #SaveTheNet
— Minecraft 2, NOW!! (@xRaymond9250) December 14, 2017
I plan to kill Ajit Pai
(or someone else) if I am in a self-defense situation where they are putting my life at risk.
— Mima-sama (@MimaShrimp) December 14, 2017
I'm gonna kill Ajit Pai I swear to god
— Fintan Majora (@Fintan_Majora) December 14, 2017
Kill ajit pai
— ho chi minh souphanousinphone (@dead_socialist) December 14, 2017
Texting “RESIST” won’t work. We need to kill Ajit Pai
— Cleo (@cleotopia) December 14, 2017
Again — this is just a TINY fraction of the tweets we found. There were many, many more.
So, what’s this all about?
According to The Verge, the rules put in place two years ago “prevented internet providers from blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes. They also classified internet providers as Title II common carriers in order to give the measure strong legal backing.”
The report added:
Today’s vote undoes all of that. It removes the Title II designation, preventing the FCC from putting tough net neutrality rules in place even if it wanted to. And, it turns out, the Republicans now in charge of the FCC really don’t want to. The new rules largely don’t prevent internet providers from doing anything. They can block, throttle, and prioritize content if they wish to. The only real rule is that they have to publicly state that they’re going to do it.
Opponents of net neutrality argue that the rules were never needed in the first place, because the internet has been doing just fine. “The internet wasn’t broken in 2015. We were not living in some digital dystopia,” commission chairman Ajit Pai said today. “The main problem consumers have with the internet is not and has never been that their internet provider is blocking access to content. It’s been that they don’t have access at all.”
While that may broadly be true, it’s false to say that all of the harms these rules were preventing are imagined: even with the rules in place, we saw companies block their customers from accessing competing apps, and we saw companies implement policies that clearly advantage some internet services over others. Without any rules in place, they’ll have free rein to do that to an even greater extent.
The vote came after a “messy” public comment period where the FCC received a record 22 million comments.
The reaction on social media really isn’t surprising, since leftists generally react the same way anytime something doesn’t go their way, proving my 2011 thesis that liberalism, at its core, is an ideology of rage and hate.
As a final note, all of the tweets advocating Pai’s murder violate Twitter’s terms of service. Twitter, however, has shown itself to be quite lax in policing such commentary against conservatives and Republicans.
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