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Posts Tagged ‘net neutrality’

A free and open Internet, which I support, is frightening to most people. We all know the Internet’s a crazy place because many sites rely on their communities to police user-generated content. On social networking sites, we worry about predators and malware developers. And around every corner someone is trying to scam us out of our credit card number. We know this, but it’s still frightening.

There are two news items today that need some discussion.

pee-wee-hermanThe first comes from MySpace [via TechCrunch.] They’re boasting an increase in safety on their network, citing that 90,000 sex predators have been found and removed from the site. I’ve gotta say, that’s like me telling you that I cleaned out 90,000 rats from a mall… It’s a little disgusting.

Now, most of us view MySpace as a creepo stompin’ ground. But I think MySpace is doing the best job it can in the free and open Internet. Could it be more private like Facebook? Sure, but they don’t need to mimic Zuckerberg’s site.

Parents, your kids already think Fbook is infinitely cooler. If they don’t, introduce them to privacy settings.

Pervos, ugh, just take your stache somewhere else, or MySpace will find and remove you.

See? This free and open Internet isn’t too bad.

Now the second item is a stickier situation because it involves the saintly Google. If you don’t know, Google is on the vanguard of the battle against legislators who’d love to remove neutrality from the Internet.

It turns out that 4 Google executives are being accused of criminal activity. Now, we’re used to executives facing jail time for white collar crimes, but these four execs didn’t even commit a crime. A user posted a video on Google video of bullies teasing a kid with down-syndrome. The prosecutors intend to prove that the execs are to blame rather than the user.

It’s sticky. Is MySpace to blame if a sexual predator uses their service to create an improper relationship? If an airline sells a murderer a ticket that he will use to escape the crime scene, is the airline an accomplice? This case gets into the nitty gritty of community-regulated content.

YouTube can’t pull down all those naughty vids alone. They need help from the users. Just like Ebay can’t monitor all potentially fraudulent auctions. See, the execs can’t block all harmful videos, and they can’t monitor all videos because, let’s face it, the number of vids is in the millions.

Google released this statement:

As we have repeatedly made clear, our hearts go out to the victim and his family. We are pleased that as a result of our cooperation the bullies in the video have been identified and punished. We feel that bringing this case to court is totally wrong. It’s akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post. What’s more, seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet. We will continue to vigorously defend our employees in this prosecution.

Basically, Google’s service does a lot of good too. It’s a neutral platform that news organizations, entertainers, and teachers can utilize to spread information.

MySpace, on the other hand, is also a great service. It’s a neutral place to connect to your friends and their friends, as well as socially interact with music and television content.

If the Internet were to lose its neutrality we’d lose our ability to create new and exciting services. The big dogs would run the show, and the little startups wouldn’t have a chance. The Internet doesn’t favor one company, one idea, one country, one religion…it is a truly diverse place because of its neutrality. Let’s keep it free (er, with a few, minor conditions…)

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Yesterday the FCC approved unused airwaves, or white spaces, for use of high speed internet access across the nation. Cool? Check it out at savetheinternet.com

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Huffington Post offers this breakdown of voters by age:

Ohio Results

It’s interesting to note how every category sans the 65+ group went to Obama in Ohio. Once this state was called, it was over.

Here is a screenshot from the winning page BarackObama.com:

President Barack Obama

Here is McCain’s page with VERY LITTLE change (the developers just included a video of his remarks.) Obama’s website now gives visitors the chance to contribute to the RNC, but McCain’s website has yet to make these additions. I’m guessing the developers are worn out after a long day.

McCain

///UP NEXT IN OBAMALAND///

So now we have our next president, and the tech community needs to be optimistic about an Obama administration. For one, he has always been a fighter for net neutrality. His call for net neutrality is even in his book The Audacity of Hope.

We must also expect his administration to hold its promise to give government back to the people through technology. The huge coalition from this election should expect to see his text messaging and social network presence used to tackle his agenda.

///TRENDS///

Trend Snapshot Nov 5

Google Trends, as of 3:31 AM, shows us that McCain’s concession speech became the volcanic topic of the day. It also appears that David Plouffe has gained some attention. People across the country are up late waiting for the results of Prop 8, which was leaning YES an hour ago. Obama mentioned Ann Nixon Cooper in his speech, and this has inspired some googling. Overall, Obama’s speech got the least attention and third place behind Obama’s campaign director Plouffe and McCain’s concession speech.

Some of you might have noticed that “Uncle Tom” is a search term. And it might be related to two different types of stories: 1) The People of Natchitoches, Louisiana, where Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is set, awaited the results of whether we had elected the first African American president. Or 2) it could’ve been Ralph Nader’s remarks this evening. Both were stories on major news outlets, but I’m going to vote for the latter as the cause.

///Digg.com///

Diggs about Barack’s presidency have brought in the hugest numbers on the social bookmarking site. 31K plus diggs from Barack voters + two other posts honored with K beside the number of diggs:

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It’s been an interesting day, and I thank everyone that voted in his historic hard fought election. We should be thankful for 4 great candidates with 4 families that embody our hopes and dreams.

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