Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chose to repeal Net Neutrality – a principle that prevents internet service providers from slowing or blocking online content. This repeal is expected to have catastrophic effects across the nation, including on minority communities. The internet has been a safe space for LGBTQ people and other minorities to gather, share vital information, and organize movements to fight oppression. The repeal of Net Neutrality opens the door for minority voices to be silenced based on what corporations feel they want to let us see. For LGBTQ youth, the internet is often an escape from an unaccepting family life or local community, and can be a resource for understanding who they are. Without access to the internet, many young people will feel more isolated than ever, especially rural LGBTQ youth who may not have easy access to local LGBTQ-friendly institutions. Preventing young people from accessing critical online resources and social networks will deny their ability to realize the community and love for them in the larger world. With this repeal, providers can also charge top dollar for every type of website someone visits and every type of content watched (such as video, social media, and news content). This harmful action will exclude those who cannot afford certain services.
While Net Neutrality has been repealed by the FCC, there is still time to act. We urge all citizens to contact their legislators in the US Congress to let them know you do not support the repeal. Congress has the power to override the FCC in this action. We need your help to keep our internet safe from those who want to silence our voices.