On November 3rd, 2017, FOI Executive Director Christie-Lee McNally submitted the below LTE in response to an October 31st 2017 opinion-editorial in the New York Times titled ““Net Neutrality: Why Artists and Activists Can’t Afford to Lose It,” by W. Kamau Bell. Not surprisingly, the New York Times neglected to run Christie’s response, in which she pointed out that Bell’s argument ignores the facts and completely leaves out that Silicon Valley gatekeepers at Twitter, Facebook, and Google are the real threat to free speech. Here’s the full text of the letter:
Re “Net Neutrality: Why Artists and Activists Can’t Afford to Lose It<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/opinion/net-neutrality-artists-activists.html?_r=1>” (opinion article, Oct. 31):
The author attempts to scare readers by presenting a factually-inept argument at best. At worst, it completely misses the real threat to free expression and enterprise – the Silicon Valley gatekeepers at Twitter, Facebook and Google. The author incorrectly attributes hypothetical consequences to the elimination of the FCC’s 2015 rules. More accurately, artists, creators and activists are far more likely to face censorship on the monopoly platforms like YouTube, which are untouched by the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules. With a reach of billions globally, these communications networks are the most powerful distribution channels in the world. As the author suggests – post a video to YouTube and you could receive instant fame. The Silicon Valley behemoths have been caught in recent months cutting off access and discriminating against users that challenge their political and business interests. They are the corporations that have the ability to decide whether your message reaches the masses, and no one is talking about net neutrality in the context of this real threat.