LatinaLista — In these times of rising racism and discrimination, there was always one place where everyone had the same rights — the Internet.
Just by its very nature, the Internet is where favoritism doesn’t exist, except by the readers.
What that means is that whether a reader is accessing the New York Times or Fox News or Latina Lista, one site isn’t going to load faster than the other or even be blocked by the reader’s Internet provider.
It’s called “Net Neutrality.”
Most people don’t even think about not being able to have total freedom while surfing the web. After all, that has long been the beauty of the medium — to go where you want, when you want, read what you want and download/upload what you want.
Yet, the big companies that provide the rest of us with Internet access like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast can only see lost profits when the American public is allowed free reign on the Internet.
These companies either want to restrict our access to some sites or make our access a little more difficult as they push their own favorite sites on users — sites that may have paid extra bucks to be a “favorite site.”
Each company claims that the money they will earn from implementing these discriminatory practices will be poured back into the company to build out broadband access to underserved communities and lower the cost.
The danger is that the American public is losing the fundamental freedoms associated with being online. This is bad news for sites like Latina Lista which is considered a niche site and addresses issues or events not always covered by the so-called popular press and other Latino sites that focus on social justice issues and call to action sites.
So, yesterday some Latino organizations banded together to form a new response in fighting against those who believe corporate profits should take precedence over democratic freedoms.
The Latinos for Internet Freedom site bilingually informs readers about the issue of Net Neutrality, how it would impact the Latino community, why everyone should care and how each person can make their voice heard on the issue to the Federal Communications Commission.
We also know that if history is any guide, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast will not use their power to amplify or protect our voices. We need look no further than the still paltry number of Latinos on TV to understand that corporate media gatekeepers are often not interested in the voices of people of color.
With the free and open Internet, we no longer need their approval to speak.