The Internet is the Wild West

…But how long will the qualities we love, and take for granted, last?

On September 30th, 2016, the Obama administration effectively gave away the Internet; yes, apparently the president does have the authority to hand-off “America’s pioneering role in ensuring that the Internet remains a place where free expression can flourish” to a privatized global-clique where there is no voice to speak out for such a right.

If we look at the ‘Wild West,’ that romanticized time in American history lasted approximately thirty years in the mid-to-late 1800’s. If we say the Internet as we know it began to come of age at the turn of the century, then consider recent advancements, perhaps it’s a possibility that the free-of-charge, high-power, pro-freedom Internet will become a mere nostalgic reminiscence a century from now.

I’d like to see the web remain fun and interesting, but it seems waters are already flowing against us: for starters, major news networks in America have begun closing comment sections on (especially political) articles, claiming that they’ve become infested with hate speech and harassment. People aren’t disagreeing with articles and proving them wrong because they want to be ‘trolls,’ “it’s because people hate [the media] and [the media] lies…on a daily basis to the public.” Instead of questioning the quality of their journalism, the networks shut down the potential for any kind of discussion on the matter. Well, it’s their website, so it’s their right. These ‘trolls’ can ride their steeds into the plains of web-righteousness and spread their knowledge and opinions. Right?

Right, until they gain steam promoting an idea that conflicts with the establishment’s seeming desire for some egalitarian society, which is really a guise for more power to few, less freedom to more, and no rooted identity for any. There’s a totalitarian quality to the progressive left; equality slogans are ran about, preach of tolerance and diversity…but spread too ‘threatening’ of an opinion and you’ll be shut down, on the Internet, at least…

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It would be a healthy precaution to at least be aware that the Internet as we know it has a new possessor. So, enjoy and utilize the Internet as long as it’s services and tools have use in the hands of the people. As always, physical mediums are useful, and much harder for an outsider to regulate. Knowing where to access information otherwise is important, and not difficult, only slower. Documents exclusive to the Internet are always worth a print-out. Sane, trustworthy (preferably also brave and intelligent) people to debate and discuss with are helpful, but not as important as faith in your own intellect and instinct. No one can keep us down for long, if we can stay in touch with ourselves…

-MM

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