Last week, we asked our users to tell us how they felt about net neutrality after hearing a pro-net neutrality argument from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and a counter argument from Reason’s show Mostly Weekly. We set up a survey in which people could tell us their political leanings, if they were for or against net neutrality, and leave comments on how they felt.
Here are the results:
Of our respondents, 62.4% answered that they were Left or Lean Left on the political spectrum, while 13.6% were Right or Lean Right. The remaining 24% were Center. Therefore, our audience was heavily skewed to the Left.
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Now here comes the really interesting part:
Of the people on the Left, a strong majority sided with Last Week Tonight. There were a few in the middle or unsure, but only 2.6% of people on the left thought net neutrality was a bad thing. On the Right, the answers were split almost 50/50 not including a few people who were undecided. In the Center, most respondents were pro-net neutrality with only one person choosing Mostly Weekly’s counter argument.
We also gave respondents the option to tell us why they felt the way they did and what drove their opinion on net neutrality. Here are a few responses:
“We must treat the internet like a utility. I don't mind paying for it, but, like water, I want it to flow”
-Lean Left, pro-net neutrality
“I agree that most of the public thought everything was fine without net neutrality. It seems to be more about money from both sides than about protecting the public.”
-Left, Somewhere in the middle
“The internet is ubiquitous and has become so necessary that it should be considered and treated as a utility like water and electricity. Unequal access will widen not only the digital divide but also the economic disparity. Even the possibility that this could be the case is enough to maintain Net Neutrality laws.”
-Right, pro-net neutrality
“If government only did good regulations, it would be easy to support net neutrality (besides, "Net Neutrality" sounds good). But overtime, government tends to regulate more and more, with obscure regulations that only those in power (and big companies on different sides of the issue - whether Google or the Telecoms) understand, and overtime they give advantages to those currently in power and make it harder for newcomers, and people suffer as a result. Let's roll back at least a little bit and only regulate AFTER a problem has occurred.”
-Lean Right, against net neutrality
“Complete lack of regulation has rarely resulted in much good for the general population- if there was no greed, free markets would work. Unfortunately, there are greedy people and they run corporations, which are not people, but have been granted the rights of such.”
-Center, somewhere in the middle
Our survey is still open for you to take and give us your opinion on net neutrality. But after seeing these results, what did you think? Were they what you expected? Let us know here and on social media!