One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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Media bias is hydra-headed in its perniciousness. It operates on many levels – in many ways. One of its practitioners’ favorite moves is the terrible headline. In which they knowingly – or unknowingly – tip their hand on the story at hand. These heinous headlines can effectively work to sway casual, drive-by media consumers – who don’t go deep into multiple articles to get a more fully-formed idea.
Mega-website Facebook is currently on the wrong side of this media treatment. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is trying – via his Free Basics program – to connect to the Internet prospectively billions of very poor people throughout the world. For free. How awful of him.
But because Facebook’s – again, FREE – connection is alleged to violate the ridiculous government policy known as Network Neutrality, a tiny cadre of pro-government fetishists are out in force. To stop billions of very poor people from accessing the Web.
We will for the moment ignore this story’s petard-hoisting nature – because in the United States, Facebook is one of the biggest Net Neutrality proponents going. (Here’s hoping Zuckerberg, Inc. now sees how foolish that is.)
As soon as Facebook went from a user of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to an ISP their own selves – the Net Neutrality mini-gaggle they championed turned viciously upon them. Including most certainly the media. And this is where it gets particularly stupid.
Why on Earth would it? Because the rabble-rousing fetishists – in the media and elsewhere – insist that it does.
The Leftists who constantly demand companies give stuff away – freak out when they actually do.
It is ridiculous he even has to do so.
“PLEASE – allow India to have free Internet access.”
But there actually is currently no “digital India” – not really. 80% of India’s 1.3 billion people do not have Internet access. Facebook is trying to address this – and getting assaulted for it.
The one billion Indians being denied free Internet access – not so tech-savvy.
The Academics – most of whom have free Internet access provided for them by their academies – oppose the Indian people joining them online. Because that won’t help them academically, obviously.
Neither do one billion Indians.
Really? Is that factually accurate? Of course not.
1.4 million people commented – mostly in favor of their getting access. Does the government bureaucrat in question care? Of course not.
The definition of an “astroturf army?” Any mass of humanity in support of non-Leftist policy. And ignore the people India’s bureaucrat has.
And this wanton ignorance is spreading.
Facebook’s Free Basics launched in Egypt only two months ago – and three million people rushed to sign up. And now the Net Neutrality fetishists have pulled their plugs.
I’m sure many other poor countries had hopes of Facebook delivering them Internet access. And these Leftists are happily dashing them.
There are a few voices of media sanity.
But they are far and away the outliers – much like people in poor countries with Internet access.
So congratulations to the world’s “journalists.” You exponentially amplified a tiny cadre of anti-poor-people regulatory fetishists – and are shutting down Internet access for billions. Well done.