Nerditya by Aditya

Manufacturing Consent and Net Neutrality

I recently started reading the book 'Manufacturing Consent' by Noam Chomsky. The book argues, with many examples, that the news we read and see on TV and printed media is largely influenced by political propaganda and can no longer be considered an unbiased outlook of the real world. Around the same time, the debate about net neutrality was spiking up and that got me thinking. Who stands to gain the most if these media conglomerates start controlling the Internet? The Internet companies, sure, but the government gets more control. If you don't believe this happens today, read the book by Noam Chomsky.

The premise of the argument is that the Internet companies want to charge users based on what they use the most. Use Netflix a lot? Buy our monthly Netflix pack for $25 else suffer 480p video quality. This is terrible. Internet should not be controlled or censored by anyone. It will lead to incorrect censorship of anything that goes against what these handful companies believe. In fact, it would depend solely on what the government wants you to see.

There have been countless examples where the same news is reported in completely different manner by different sources. There also have been cases where the same source, depending on the place of publication, has altered the content to suit what it perceives the people tend to favour. If the net neutrality laws are put in place to further the agendas of such organizations, it will only lead to a generation more gullible and oblivious to facts.

I've seen the effects of media bias back in India. Every news channel reporting against every single step by the opposing party while touting the atrocities committed by the corrupt few. Facts removed from textbooks because they didn't suit the government propaganda of celebrating a family name. It's not pleasant. Get out while you can, fight for net neutrality.

Disclaimer: I am not a journalist. This article is just my thoughts put in writing. It is more than likely that the research that went into this is incomplete and, in some cases, plain wrong. If you don't agree, get in touch on Twitter at @adibis.