Category Archives: Internet

Social Media is Gaming Society With An Algorithm

Social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube (or whatever thing comes next) are technologies that are rapidly extending the boundaries of how we communicate, how we learn & have accelerated the rate at which the collective knowledge of the human race grows. But for some, Instead of being an exchange for enlightened ideas that will further benefit humanity as a whole, they get sucked into a maelstrom of pettiness, scandal, and outrage quickly losing sight of what matters for the society they share. I am aware these social media companies could fix this. They could adapt their algorithms to put clickbait lower down the feed but those changes would go against their business-model designed to monopolize attention and keep people in their short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops. They are aware that instead of imparting wisdom, these systems frequently dish out compulsive stuff that tends to reinforce people’s biases keeping them deeply engaged and or enraged which leads to more time on their sites and people clicking the ads that fund this entire system. The ads on these sites have also been used by companies & even countries to influence & manipulate people forcing a wedge into our society. Congress has asked the social media giants for transparency about who pays for political ads, but a lot of the inimical influence comes through people carelessly sharing barely credible news posts based on the headline alone because it fits the narrative they want to believe.
So what can be done? I don’t know, but I feel that raising awareness that an algorithm is being applied to shape how we interact online is important. I am very optimistic that this is a problem we will solve, society will continue to improve, and this will be looked at as another time of great change in our history. Feel free to share, comment or tell me I am crazy or just scroll on by….:)

Arguments Against & The History Of Net Neutrality

The best place to begin with net neutrality is understanding it’s basic premise: Providers who are transporting data should treat every packet the same, regardless of the source, the destination or the service.  Net neutrality IS NOT about regulating the internet, it’s about regulating the providers.

Law Professor Tim Wu first uses the phrase “net neutrality” in a law review article in 2003, but the word was not really popularized until more recently.  

(The Paper

The FCC decided it was in the public’s best interests if all packets that passed through the ISP’s systems would be treated equally and each time an ISP was caught breaking those rules the FCC would step in. This went on from 2004 until January 14, 2014, when the DC Circuit Court determined in the case of Verizon Communications Inc. v. FCC that the FCC had no authority to enforce network neutrality rules as long as service providers were not identified as “common carriers”  As a response to the DC Circuit Court’s decision, a dispute developed as to whether net neutrality could be guaranteed under existing law, or if reclassification of ISPs was needed to ensure net neutrality. Wheeler stated that the FCC had the authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to regulate ISPs, while others, including President Obama, supported reclassifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  On March 12, 2015, the FCC released the specific details of its new net neutrality rules that they were empowered to enforce and on April 13, 2015, the final rule was published and has stood in place until present day.  

$200 Billion Broadband Scandal Book & The “It’s Their Network” debate
Read page 210-223, especially page 222.

Thanks to Reddit user who started this list

2005 – Comcast was denying access to p2p services without notifying customers. Against Net Neutrality eplinks/2007/10/eff-tests-agree-ap-comcast-forging-packets-to-interfere

AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre
“They don’t have any fiber out there. They don’t have any wires. They don’t have anything,” he argues. “They use my lines for free — and that’s bull. For a Google or a Yahoo! or a Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes for free is nuts!”

2007 Complaint filed against Comcast for filtering traffic

2008 Comcast Loses The Case
https://www.publicknowledge.Arguments Against Net Neutrality org/news-blog/blogs/comcast-case-victory-internet

2007-2009 – AT&T was having Skype and other VOIPs blocked because they didn’t like there was competition for their cellphones.

2010 The Federal Communications Commission today said it would vote on rules to prevent ISPs from discriminating against the bits flowing across their networks

2011 – MetroPCS tried to block all streaming except youtube. Essentially this was a Zero Rating Service

2011-2013, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were blocking access to Google Wallet because it competed with their systems

2011 Verizon Communications refiles a lawsuit Friday to block Net neutrality regulations passed by the FCC late in 2010, taking the position the FCC does not have the authority to enforce the rules.

2012, Verizon was demanding google block tethering apps on android because it let owners avoid their $20 tethering fee. This was despite guaranteeing they wouldn’t do that as part of a winning bid on an airwaves auction.They were fined $1.25million over this

2012, AT&T – tried to block access to FaceTime unless customers paid more money.

2013, Verizon literally stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place.

2014 FCC Chairman Wheeler Endorses Title II

2015 FCC Passes Title II Net Neutrality Rules