Thursday, December 14, 2017

The End of Net Neutrality

Hello, beautiful.

From the title of this post, you can probably see that this isn't my usual cheerful, chipper content about beauty and college lifestyle. But this is something I have to say, both for me and for all of you who might be struggling to come to terms with the FCC's decision.

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my campus Starbucks with my final paper open in another tab for my legislative behavior class. I should probably be studying for finals right now, but all I can think about is the abominable legislative behavior we just witnessed in Washington.

If you don't know what net neutrality is - was - this policy was put into place by the Obama Administration to ensure all Americans could have free and open access to the Web. Without net neutrality, there's no stopping Internet providers from slowing down or even blocking access to certain websites, charging consumers higher rates to gain access to certain sites or even charging content creators for faster load times.

As a blogger, I wanted to write about this both to help me process my emotions and to let you guys, my readers, know what's going to happen to Haley Marie Blog and many of your other favorite sites.

First thing's first: I am NOT going to stop blogging because of the FCC's ruling. If you are also a blogger, I do NOT encourage you to stop, either! Blogging provides so much more than page views and sponsorships. It's a form of personal fulfillment, and the fact that I can help so many of you through my unique platform as a college influencer gives me so much purpose.

Second, you might be wondering what's going to happen (and what you can do) now that net neutrality isn't a thing. Well, let me make you a list:
  1. Let's face the scariest consequence first so we can just get it over with: Internet providers will be able to charge you to access your favorite sites, giving them a powerful form of control over what you can and can't see online. Soon, this could mean that bloggers like me have to pay providers for our content to become visible, or that you may not be able to access our content at all.
  2. Advocates dedicated to a free and open Internet will resort to legal action against the repeal. They will most likely argue that the decision is "arbitrary and capricious," or that Internet providers are being wrongly categorized and subjected to fewer regulations than they require.
  3. Organizations like the ACLU are asking Congress to take action to repeal the FCC's decision. This gives you a tremendous opportunity to take action. Click here to sign their petition for a free and open Internet. You can also click here to donate to the Freepress Action Fund's efforts to sue the FCC. 
  4. Keep viewing and supporting your favorite websites, blogs and media outlets - especially the small ones. The more popular a website is, the more demand there will be for access. Don't just support me, though. Here are some of my friends/favorite bloggers whose blogs you should also show some love:
So, what am I going to do from here on out? Well, I'm going to keep doing what I've always done: I'm going to write. I'm going to voice my opinions on social media. And I'm going to keep blogging regardless of what Internet providers and civic organizations do or don't do about net neutrality.

The FCC will only win if we allow ourselves to be silenced. So, let's bang some pots and pans together, sound some blowhorns and scream at the top of our lungs. Let's make noise. 

Comment below if you're with me to end the FCC's repeal of net neutrality.

If you are a content creator and you want to be added to my above list of bloggers, please reach out at