A few weeks ago, the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver posted a video about net neutrality (warning: the video does contain foul language). In it, host John Oliver presents his argument about why net neutrality is a good thing through comedy, a style that many people refer to as "infotainment." He argues that net neutrality keeps internet service providers (ISPs) from slowing down websites that they do not like or who do not pay them enough money. Oliver also notes that the FCC’s statistics and logic in loosening regulations don’t add up. He encourages his viewers to comment on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) website and tell the FCC to keep the net neutrality laws that were established under the Obama administration.
In response to John Oliver’s video, the reason.com show Mostly Weekly made a video that opposed John Oliver’s views. Host Andrew Heaton made the argument against net neutrality. He argued that government regulation of the Internet was much more harmful than helpful and that the points made in Last Week Tonight were mostly hypotheticals that had never come to fruition before Obama-era net neutrality laws were implemented. He also argued that the Internet did not have these regulations before 2015 and seemed to be working well under a more free-market approach.
Both videos come during a time when, under the new Trump administration and FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC had started to plan rollbacks of the 2015 Obama-era regulations. They call this proposal “Restoring Internet Freedom” and Chairman Pai has argued that the current regulations have slowed the development of the telecom industry.
AllSides wants to know what users think about net neutrality as well as the two arguments presented by Last Week Tonight and Mostly Weekly. Are these rollbacks a good thing or should net neutrality laws remain? Let us know what you think in the survey below, and please share your thoughts with us on our social media pages as well.